Peak(s):  Stanley Mountain - 12521
Date Posted:  11/29/2014
Modified:  11/30/2014
Date Climbed:   11/29/2014
Author:  goingup
Additional Members:   iliketrails
 Stanley's five minutes of fame  

Because 12ers are awesome.


My big thanksgiving break plans included: 1) boycott thanksgiving 2) study 3) work 4) study 5) study 6) work 7) study and 8) if a weather window presented itself go climb Mount Huron and finish off the sawatchers. A weather window did present itself but I decided to re-roll my ankle on my official boycott thanksgiving trail run around Centennial Cone two days before my planned climb of Huron. I knew Huron was out of the question but Chris (iliketrails) is down for anything, anytime so we resurrected the weekend and climbed the terrifyingly stout Mount Stanley +++++ a bonus hike off of Loveland Pass to watch the sun go down. Besides I had to test out some new gear. I recently scored a $6 hat from the little boys section at REI.

The initial plan was to snowshoe around Henderson mine off of the first switch back of Berthoud Pass but Stanley caught my eye. A little poking around on summit post showed an avy safe route coming off the west side of the summit of BP. I would call it the Northeast ridge route. It is a popular backcountry ski/snowboard area. In retrospect I am glad I re-rolled my ankle and Huron did not happen because I forgot how much of a pain in the ass winter "like" climbing is. I needed an easier day to re-accustom myself with snow and cold as I reverted back to wanting to have a gear bonfire.

Another reason 12ers are awesome is because we left Golden at 8 a.m. I really love sleeping. We hit the snow, sunshine in our eyes, Stanley in our hearts anddddd the first half a mile was a HUGE shit show. In the summer I ran everything with a pack that weighed maybe 4 pounds, trail runners, and a wind breaker. It never got more complicated than that. Now I had snow shoes, an ice axe, poles, extra layers, big fat gloves, googles, and a giant pack to hold it all. The first half mile was me vs. my gear. I put up a good fight but in the end it won.

Colorado Mines Peak....we cancelled our plans to climb this one.

Heat stroke 1.

Chris skinnin'

Heat stroke 2.

There was lots of snowsport activity along the first mile and a half trek; dogs running around, people high-fiving, small talk, and happy smiles. We hit a northeast facing face. With only small amounts of snow and nice switch backs it was a breeze to the top. I would be concerned if this slope was loaded with snow but Chris measured the angle at 28 degrees, so maybe not be concerned? I don't know. I am trying to immerse myself in understanding snow science.



As well there was a large crown of what appeared to be a big slide off a southeast facing aspect of a no name 12er (12,092) which was to the northwest of us as we climbed towards the above mentioned face. Later we talked to a man who said that avy was a few days old and had been reported.

Best I could do.

Once we gained the northeast face of (I don't know which mountain it belonged to) things got serious....seriously WINDY. We were now on a ridge and the snow was blown off into near by bowls making for some already crazy cornices. The snow all the way down into the trees of the basin looked nice. I wonder if coverage is still thin? Probably.

Apparently I can't take good photos of snow stoke.


We went right (west) and made our way to a 12,391 foot bump. Here we saw the last people we would see for a while. Here the wind went from present to traumatizing. Chris ditched his splitboard and I ditched my snowshoes in front of a large protective rock outcropping and on we went to battle body moving wind for a few hours.



In my travels through life I have encountered wind. But never have I ever been consistently battered by the kind that sucks the breath from your lungs. It never let up. But on we pressed, false summit after false summit. Neither of us thought to speak...I wondered what Chris was doing behind me?

Taking selfies of course...


Finally the summit.....

Only slightly anticlimactic.




West towards Vasquez Pass and Vasquez Peak



The wind seemed to pick up even more on the way out. By this point I was angry hungry so Chris and I had the windiest picnic in the history of my life.
Eventually we got back to civilization.


This is the part of the story where I become enraged with jealousy. I brought my regular snowboard setup because making some turns was an option BUT my giant cankle would not go into my snowboarding boot so I seethed hatred while Chris rode his back down to the car. Actually I took photos and screamed out "EXTREME SNOWSHOEING" on the top of my lungs.



Also I love bananas.

We decided to go watch the sun set on Loveland Pass. As we drove west we laughed at all the people sitting in I-70 traffic (we would later be one of them). We parked at the summit and hiked southwest to a 12,414 foot point. We started early so we had some time to pass. To our surprise it was windy. Here's what we did.

Interpretive Dancing:

Tacky partial nudity:

Artistic arms up in mountain shot (overlaps with tacky partial nudity shot):

We post-holed our way to 12,414 and let mother nature wow us. It never gets old.


I wasn't quite done entertaining myself so I made a humongous spectacle next to the Loveland Pass sign. I cried a little for effect.


My six dollar little boys hat that I dubbed Mullet Mania was a huge success. It kept my head warm and my face shielded. Bonus, it makes me look like I have a mullet.

The End.


" I am going to keep having fun every day I have left because there is no other way of life. You just have to decide whether you are a Tigger or an Eeyore. "

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
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 Comments or Questions

11/30/2014 14:29
It must have been the year for wind. I encountered the same thing this summer and fall while I was out there. Have never experienced so much annoying wind, strong and unrelenting on nearly all of my hikes, as I have this year. Good job!


I agree with Doug
11/30/2014 17:51
It does seem like there has been more wind to deal with this year - not sure what’s up with that. Also so sorry to hear you rolled your ankle on your Centennial Cone run. Guess I shouldn’t have posted that TR, eh?

Nice report as always, Kay.


I like 12ers too, Kay...
12/01/2014 15:16
Nice work there. Beauty pics.


i like the anticlimactic shot
12/01/2014 16:29
way to get back out there! get that ankle in order


12,391 = Russell Peak
12/01/2014 18:35
If you’re a math/science person, then you’ll love learning about snow science!
Agree with brandon – the last sunset shot is fantastic.


Hey Kay
12/03/2014 17:40
"turn around!"


Awe Jeffy
12/03/2014 23:11
I don’t know what I would do without you.


Jay noooooooo
12/26/2014 19:14
I was planning on doing that run on thanksgiving before I read your TR. It is a favorite long run of mine. I have run it several times. My ankle was very weak from the first roll which happened on Wilcox on October 19th. My mind began to wander, as it does when I am trail running and boom I was down....again.

But good news. It’s still a bit sore and swollen but not so bad this time around.

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