Well thanks to benners from 14ers.com I had beta that Uncompahgre was in from the summit. I knew that it was a great chance to get a long flat slog out of the way so I could save a day in the spring for a steeper line. I drove down the night before and camped at the 2wd trailhead. I got into a fight with my alarm clock in the morning and slept very comfortably till the crack of 7:45.
The route is 5500 vert and 16 miles round trip, though my altimeter only showed 5200 vert. Those are GPS stats from 14ers.com so I’d believe them over my altimeter any day, not to mention the fact that a brief storm was encountered today further throwing off my data. I made good time in my opinion. Summited in exactly 6 hours and had an overall time of 8:30 hours. I would have gone faster had the clouds not parted and given me such beautiful views at the top. I got a clean summit ski and then pieced together a bit more on the summit plateau. The notch gully was blank for 3/4 of it but the skis went back on and stayed on the rest of the way to the trailhead. The snow was a mix of hard soft and crusty. I’d say I got 5350 of the 5500, plus I tucked off the summit so I obviously had the most extreme summit start ever. 🙂
After having a bit of a rough stretch after Christmas, I really felt that the best way to go on this trip was solo. I invited a few friends at first but in the end I really ended up wanting to go by myself. I really needed some space to gather my thoughts and reflect on my family and some of the deeper meanings of life. No better place to reflect about the man who introduced me to skiing than to go skiing. No better place to listen than in the mountains. For the mountain’s song is one of peace. I have no God in the Christian sense, but I do have my Church and in times of trouble and sadness so much joy can be found in the struggles and beauty that nature provides. It’s just a place where things are put into perspective for me.
I ran into 14ers.com members bergsteingen and Kansas at the summit. We talked basketball as the Mrs. was/is a KU girl. They grabbed some pics of skiing from the summit plateau. It was good meeting you two. I like the aggressive approach to skiing Uncompahgre for your 1st BC trip Kansas. Way to get after it.
Anyway on to the pictures.