A day on Handies Peak (14,048′)


After a summer of hiking for a living, I finally got out for a nice pleasure hike up the mellow 14er, Handies Peak, located south of Lake City and right off of Cinnamon Pass. The hike starts around the 12,000 foot mark and climbs out of American Basin mellowly. After passing a beautiful alpine lake, you begin the climb switchbacks several times before gaining the summit ridge. There is a nice trail all the way to the summit making this a nice easy mountain to climb, but it was fun to hike without all my work equipment. My younger brother Jon and his girlfriend, Sarah, rallied from Denver to take on this enjoyable fall hike.

Sloan Lake, at the base of American Peak (13,806).

Sarah Brown hiking with Handies Peak behind her.

Sarah Brown begins the climb up Handies Peak, with the ominous face of American Peak looming behind her.

Quickly gaining elevation.

Jon Jay and Sarah Brown, approach the summit ridge of Handies Peak.

Jon nears the top with Jones Mountain (13,860') behind.

The Wetterhorn (14,015') and Uncompahgre (14,363') Peaks from the summit of Handies Peak.

Stoked on the summit.

Also, a couple weeks ago Jon came down for another visit where we did some climbing and rode the Monarch Divide Trail. The trail is pretty awesome as you ride nearly 10 miles above treeline. It is certainly a unique experience.

Jon enjoys the view of Mount Aetna (13,746') from the Monarch Divide Trail.

Jon riding on the Monarch Crest.

Summer in Gunnison and the surrounding mountains


Fall is in the air here in Gunnison, and it feels like a good time to go back and look at how I spent my summer in Colorado. Enjoy these photos from around Colorado.

Sarah explores great Great Sand Dunes National Park

San Miguel Peak in the San Juans.

The Elk Mountains from Redwell Basin, near Crested Butte.

The San Juans south of Lake San Cristobal

The Ruby Range in June.

Elephant's Head

Red Mountain in the San Juan Mountains

The Castles in the West Elk Mountains

A misty morning in the Ruby Range

The Wetterhorn on the left the Matterhorn on the right (not quite Europe, but close)

The Wetterhorn

The Matterhorn and Uncompaghre Peaks

The Sunshine Group near Telluride.

Climbing at Hartman's Rocks outside of Gunnison

Sweet epicness brah! Silverton ’10


In an attempt to start a new family tradition, my dad, two brothers and I, all met up after Christmas to ski Silverton Mountain Resort in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado. Silverton is special to my family as my parents, Zack, and I all lived there in the mid-80’s (I don’t remember much because I was only 2 at the time), so it is cool to go back and hear my dad’s old stories.

We picked my older brother up at the Grand Junkyard airport around 10 pm Christmas night, his flight from Bozeman was only a little delayed because of the underwear bomber, and booked it south to spend the night in Ridgeway. Arriving after midnight, we all drank a celebratory beer and passed out to wake up early for the hour drive to the first place I ever lived, Silverton, Colorado.

Main Street Silverton. A road to paradise.

We arrived early for some coffee and eggs then drove to the shady and cold base area of Silverton. After doing the mandatory check in and buying our tickets we busted up the double chair to go ski some glades on Dolores.

Looking through the trees at the Prospects backcountry zone

My dad makes it look a lot better than it was.

The snow on Dolores was not the best and we got worried after a marginal first run. We skied down for another lap and went and skied Colorado, a run with a slightly different aspect and found great snow. We explored the rest of the day and watched the Heli, drop skiers off on peaks all around the ski area.

About as close to heli skiing my older brother and dad have ever been.

My dad catches a little air coming off a headwall

My little brother, Jon, shreds some powder with my dad watching.

Jon milks some powder at the end of our first day of skiing.

After finding where the best snow was on Saturday, we stuck around Sunday to lap the best snow I’ve skied all season. We headed straight up to Rope-Dee and dropped a tight and steep slot to ski some hero snow.

My little brother slashes over some exposure above Rope-Dee

My older brother, Zack sends a cornice at Silverton Mountain Resort.

Jon gets nice and deep on the Rope-Dee run

Zack teaches the powder a lesson in slayage 101

Zack ripping up some soft snow

Zack jumps over some trees off a windlip

One last hike for the day. Another awesome trip and as always had too much fun skiing.

Finally huge thanks to my Grandma Kay for sponsoring us on this trip. Thank you grandma!

My dad called it a day early while the brothers and I took a couple more laps. I borrowed my little brother’s POV cam that we poorly mounted onto my helmet for the last run of the trip. Below is an edit of the run, it’s pretty silly.

Capitol Peak (14,130)


Climbed Capitol Peak in the Elk Mountains west of Aspen. Mostly a class IV scramble with plenty of nerve racking exposure. In all we traveled 18 miles round trip, 7 hours to summit, 8 hours summit to car. 4,650′ elevation gain, 4:15 am start.

Capitol Peak
Capitol as seen from the trailhead.

Sunrise
Sunrise on the approach.

Capitol Peak Alpenglow
Alpenglow on Capitol

Jon starting the Climb up Daly Pass
Jon starting to climb Daly Pass

Jon Climbing
Ascending to the NE Ridge

Top of K2
After lots of rugged, expose scrambling we reached the summit of the K2 sub-peak. You get your first view of the Knife Edge as well as the route to ascend.

Jon crossing the Knife Edge with Capitol Peak in the background

Jon crossing the Knife Edge with Capitol Peak in the background

Broskis on the summit
Bros on the Summit of Capitol

Snowfields
Jon crossing one of several sketch snow crossings. With as much snow as there was we should have had ice axes

Chillin'
Climbing towards the summit

Exposure
Exposed climbing

Blue Columine
Colorado state flower: Blue Columbine