Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The road less traveled

What an amazing trip, more than I could have hoped for and I think it goes down as my best vacation ever. We ended up with 3 vehicles and 4 people and really took our time checking everything out and having a good time with no real objective. I was really reinvigorated by this trip, even had a killer 8 mile run when I got home this evening. Heading to Vegas in the morning, hopefully I won't be drained when I get back.

We rolled into camp #1 at midnight and were set and asleep by 12:30. It was totally random and we had no idea what was around us, but we were tired. We ended up picking the only flat spot around, for miles, and at midnight it seemed perfect no matter what. We rolled out the next morning about 8am, amazing weather as you can see from the departing picture.
We landed at camp #2 about 4pm on Saturday and got everything ready for dinner and the night ahead. This is one of my favorite spots, the views are amazing and there is a spot to swim. The weather during the day was in the 50's but quickly changed and got down to 28 when we put the fire out for the night. The water was 48 degrees, the air temp was 45 before wind chill but who am I to complain.
It was all I could do to keep my heart from stopping and keep breathing. Nothing like an ice bath before we kicked the fire up.
The next morning everything was covered in frost so we had to wait for the sun to crest the mountains before we packed everything up. Elevation here was 11,250 feet and it took a while for the ice to thaw on our gear but pack up began in earnest.
Camp 3 was another spot, 20 feet from a small river with tall trees all over to keep the frost off at night. A lot of rain on the way here and it only got down to 32 and the sun never hit camp by the time we rolled out.
My tent is a 3 season with screen sides under the rain fly. It was toasty warm without a tent heater, and as usual I was over prepared with all the stuff I brought. I would rather it be that way vs. freezing and/or being wet.
We headed up another trail and into some fresh snow. I had a blast and ran up the tallest peak I could easily get to. Running in baggy jeans and a jacket didn't work out so well, but I made it. My friend from sea level walked up and I thought he was going to die, but he is a champ! I made a snow angel!
Here are some foliage and scenic shots. I have another 1200 to sort over and figure out what I like and then I'll post some more.


  1. Wish I had been there, beautiful pictures. Good for you.

  2. wow Max - those are such beatiful pictures! we were swimming in our river on Sep. 27 and it was freezing! however, tomorrow and sunday look like the weather will let us get another few freezing dips!

    when i was in Alert (Ellesmere Island, NWT, Arctic) i did the polar bear dip - that damned near froze me to death! we also did a polar bear roll which is rolling on the snow in your bathing suit - another freezing experience.

    but i tell you - nothing is worse than standing at the bus stop in ottawa in -35C with a windchill of -40!!! absolutely nothing!

    really enjoyed reading about your trip and loved the pics!

    your friend,

  3. Thanks all. I still need to sort over the pictures but I've been busy and a little lazy.
    I'm looking forward to more snow, I'm going to make a running sled so I can pull 40 pounds up and down the mountains to work on my leg strength and speed.

    That means I need snow.