Bridge of Heaven Dayhike

Today I hiked to the top of the Bridge of Heaven, a high ridgeline over 4,000 feet above the town of Ouray. This is my favorite trail in the Ouray area, with breathtaking vistas of all the mountains and valleys surrounding Ouray. The weather was threatening to storm all day, but nothing ever came of it except of bit of chilly wind and a few stray snowflakes. Here’s a couple photos from the hike.

Bridge of Heaven, Ouray, Colorado
The tundra around 12,000 feet still needs some time before it turns green; the snow is melting fast though. Sneffels Range in the background.

Aspen grass
I had fun playing around with the Olympus 7-14mm lens. I look forward to experimenting more with these kinds of close-up, ultra-wide perspectives. This image was shot at 7mm, f/18, and the front of the lens was probably only an inch or so from the leaves.

Dusty Colorado From the Air

Sawatch Range Colorado aerial photo

[+] Here’s some photos from a flight today over the Colorado Rockies, from Denver to Montrose. I had a window seat on the south side of the plane, with good views of the Sawatch and Elk Mountains. I noticed that the snow became more and more dusty towards the west side of the mountains; the western-most peaks were completely smothered in orange/brown dirt.

More photos below.
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Springtime Above Ouray

View of Ouray, Colorado

This afternoon I got out for a four hour hike above Ouray. The trails around here are mostly dry, at least on all but the most northerly facing slopes. I did a nice bushwhack hike to the top of a peak that I always see from my house, complete with a slightly hairy scramble to the top of some big outcropped rocks. It felt so good to get out hiking in summer weather, especially after being cooped up at the computer for a few weeks. It always amazes me how much simple exercise improves my mental health.

P.S. – I boosted the contrast on this photo to make it a little more viewable… the camera doesn’t do so well in flat sunny afternoon light like this.

Skiing Arizona (in Colorado)

Skiing snow with dust layer

This morning I got out for some skiing/snowboarding with some visiting German friends of a friend of a friend. There is still a little bit of white snow partially covering up the horrendous Arizona dust that smothered our mountains these last few months, so the riding was still ok. Crossing the zebra patterned snow was pretty funky… the white snow smooth and fast, then the brown snow sticky and slow. At times it felt like riding down sand dunes. I’m afraid that unless we get another late season dump, the ski season here in the San Juans is pretty much done since the dust is already starting to ravage the snowpack.

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