Headwaters of the Arkansas River Nov 18, 2012
Sunday was a great day, light winds down low, some snow up high and minimal snowpack, so I took my friends Chris Tomer and Jeff Morgan out in the 10Mi /Mosquito Range for Mt. Arkansas’ NW ridge. About a month ago I climbed Arkansas from the East by circling the peak. This time the goal was a more direct line up the easy ridge, across a few fun crossings and onto a small summit.
We started at 6am and Jeff was a little carsick cause he’s not used to riding in the back of a vehicle, so we got going in the trees after he visited the pine porcelain gods. Nevertheless, the Stars of Orion’s belt shone through the light cloud cover and we made our way up through the dark forest, an easy jaunt through open meadows and thick dry pine.
By 630 we arrived at an old miners cabin remnant at timberline and the challenge was looming. The winds began to pick up once we began heading up the slope. Several hundred feet of steep soft snow whetted our appetites for the summit, and the wind came from the southwest sustained at a brisk 20-30mph.
Sunrise on the Clouds to the southwest, west, northwest was a great sight and the two highest peaks in Colorado, Elbert and Massive tried to stay hidden, but revealed themselves brilliantly. I can’t wait for more snow so I can go ski off both of them again this year!
We ascended a mix of scree, larger rocks and grassy slopes and came to a notch that was only a couple of hundred feet below the summit.
This notch was awesome because it allowed us to sit out of the wind and take a short break before tackling the final summit ridge.
I had some fun at one point and climbed up a short Class 5 pitch on some slippery iced over rock….good stuff. Jeff followed and was excited to hit the summit.
Enjoy the photos and video have a Happy Thanksgiving…..supposed to be a long week of dry weather, so get out and enjoy the peaks and the lack of snow out there since skiing isn’t so good just yet!
Join me at my Next Event, 730pm, Thursday Nov 29 at the Boulder Bookstore on Pearl Street, check my book tour schedule on this site for more details!
Also, take advantage of the Christmas Black Friday Deal. Buy Sleeping on the Summits: Colorado 14er high Bivys and Get Free Shipping AND a FREE 2013 SOS Calendar. Click on “Order Sleeping on the Summits” to get yours today! http://www.jonkeverest.org/ORDER-SLEEPING-ON-THE-SUMMITS.html