[+] Dusk in Ouray, Colorado as seen from the Sutton Mine Trail.
WATER FIGHT!!! This is a Ouray 4th of July tradition dating way back to the mining days, in which 4 people (2 vs. 2) blast the hell out of each other with fire hoses, for as long as it takes until the losing team falls down or just can’t hold on to the hose any longer. It’s a ridiculous mix of hilarity and brutality, and as I look at these photos I still can’t stop laughing.
This year I got right up along the ropes and snapped some photos while getting completely drenched. Good times! Check out all my battle photos below.
[+] Sunset behind Potosi Peak, 13,786 ft., as seen from the Hayden Trail above Ouray, Colorado. Although it’s only the fourth tallest peak in the Sneffels Range, Potosi dominates the southern side of the range, soaring 5,000 vertical feet above Canyon Creek and Camp Bird Road. It’s a forbidding seldom-climbed peak, surrounded by sheer cliffs and rugged canyons. Read more about Potosi Peak on SummitPost.org.
On Saturday I camped up in Blaine Basin, with Mt. Sneffels towering above. That evening, I hiked up to the summit of Peak 12,910, which has an incredible vantage point directly facing the rugged north face of Sneffels. I’ve hiked to many different vantages around Mt. Sneffels, and I think this one is the best!
What an amazing hike this morning! After catching a few ZZZs, I woke up and got out of bed at 1am, hiked up Mt. Sneffels under a brilliant full moon, and topped out on the 14,156′ summit at 4:15am. The air was really calm and not that cold, and I had plenty of time to relax on the summit before the dawn light, enjoying the massive vista of moonlit peaks. Once the sun started rising, the photography was fast and furious, and I got some good large format shots with the 4×5. Now I’m off to Boulder for my friends Santos and Jill’s wedding.
Sunset light in the pines near the Portland Trail overlook above Ouray, Colorado.
Just got back from a three day rafting and fly fishing trip through the Gunnison Gorge, a 14 mile stretch of the Gunnison River downstream of the famous Black Canyon in Colorado. Due to this winter’s record snowfalls, the river was flowing at more than double the normal flow, and the normally emerald green water was a murky brown color full of silt. Also, we were too early for the famous stonefly hatch, which is unusually late this year. Unfortunately, these abnormal conditions put a serious damper on the fishing action. Despite the slow fishing, the trip was still fun just to raft through this spectacular canyon and to camp along the river with my dad and our buddies, with the deluxe camps provided by Rigs.
See many more photos from our trip below.
[+] Sunrise alpenglow on the peaks above Yankee Boy Basin, San Juan Mountains, Colorado.
This last Monday I woke up at 2am, drove up to Yankee Boy Basin, and hiked in the dark via headlamp up to the ridgeline of Cirque Mountain, a 13-thousand footer with a nice view of neighboring Mount Sneffels. With a solid overnight freeze, the snowpack was hard as a rock and the hiking was easy with my crampons. Dawn was just starting to break when I got to my destination, so I put on all my layers, put the hand warmers in my gloves, and hunkered down behind a big rock out of the chilly wind while I waited for the sunrise.
Here’s a few digital shots of the sunrise. You can see my large format shot here.
On Friday I went down to Durango to take a two day Wilderness First Aid course offered by the Nols Wilderness Medicine Institute. Since I go backpacking so much in the summertime and backcountry snowboard so much in the winter, I figured it was about time I knew these things in case something went wrong out in the wilderness.
Griz demonstrates an improvised leg splint.