Peak(s):  Arrow Benchmark
Point 12936
Whitehead Pk  -  13,259 feet
PT 13,109  -  13,109 feet
Rhoda, Mt  -  13,402 feet
Date Posted:  01/09/2020
Modified:  01/10/2020
Date Climbed:   08/22/2016
Author:  Kiefer
 Maritime Adventures  

This is an old report I never posted (2016). And sadly, most of my pictures are on my computer which, is still in storage (I've traveled around a lot the last few years) These are all I could find.

Balance is something that people often overlook until something drastic happens that puts life back in perspective. We need balance to keep from going crazy from too much of a single thing: balance of work, balance of friends, balance of family, balance of IPA’s and stouts etc.

In so saying, this has not been the summer of balance. Oh sure, there's been countless trips to breweries, hot springs, Santa Fe and a king’s ransom paid to some exquisite restaurants. But in terms of alpine pursuits, it's been famine. Among other factors, a major reason has been my decision to buckle down and achieve work stability and pay off some cancerous bills. After all, when was the last time your credit card accepted mountain pictures or a cool climbing story in lieu of payment? So, I think I'm way overdue to do something about that whole famine thing.

Initially established by the Wilderness Act of 1964 for the 'benefit of present and future Americans,' the Weminuche in southern Colorado was designated as such by Congress "officially" in 1975. Since then, this wilderness area has been expanded twice, once in 1980 and again in 1993. The Weminuche Wilderness was named after an archaic band of Ute Mountain Ute Indians called the 'Weeminuche' who migrated to extreme southwest Colorado during the twilight of the 19th century. The Weminuche Wilderness is unusual for Colorado. Long sought after by novice and expert hikers/climbers alike, though sporadically visited, this area is what many picture when images of Colorado come to mind.

The breadth of the area was violently uplifted eons ago by volcanic activity. But subsequent ice ages and relentless erosion took a toll on the volcanic rock leaving sub-ranges like the aptly named, Needle Mountains and the land of the giants, the Grenadier Mountains; all of which are part of the larger San Juan Mountains. And then there’s the Animas River Canyon which cuts deeply north-south across the western frontier. Consequently, this is also the thoroughfare that the famous Durango-Silverton Narrow-Gauge Railroad uses. To the northeast, is the Highland Mary Lakes with its sprawling green tundra resplendent with wildflowers and rolling hills; seemingly at direct odds with the violence evidenced to the south. And at almost 500,000 acres, it is undisputedly Colorado's largest wilderness area.

Because of this, I couldn't think of a better place to "get lost." Seven days in the Weminuche is exactly what I needed. Seven days summiting some truly isolated peaks, seven days hiking and camping and most importantly, seven days ALONE resetting the dials, as it were on my wilderness continuance. Silverton or bust!

19999_01
Unnamed 12,936

I'm not going to lie, this SUCKS!! I'm standing in the middle of an open-air gondola on the Durango/Silverton Narrow-Gauge Railroad. I keep getting sprayed in the face by water droplets like a flick from a wet toothbrush. And to make matters more irritating (and a trifle surreal), a herd of Mennonites just boarded and immediately surrounded me like a flock of bearded penguins. Well, at least I'm wearing my western hat, so we at least all have that in common.

It is literally down-pouring outside, like in biblical proportions. This is not the beginning I had in mind when I wanted to spend seven days in the San Juan’s. It's putting me in a dour mood. An hour ago I was sitting in a local brewery (Avalanche Brewery) talking with an acquaintance, Kevin Baker who just happened to be there as well. The beers I had I'm sad to say, were bland and sorrowful; I should have taken that as an omen.

After I retrieve my pack from the cargo hold of the train, I toss it to the ground like a pile of dirty laundry from the hamper. I pivot back around and thank the trainman for grabbing my pack from deep within the train car. He tells me to, ‘stay safe,’ mostly because, and I’m assuming here, of the weather. I smile back up at him and ‘Thanks! Though, I’m more concerned with staying dry at the moment.’ I take a few steps back, watch him smile & bow his head then close the door. I wave back at the waving tourists. Most of which, probably think I’m a few waves short of a shipwreck for getting off in what probably looks to them as No Man’s Land. Although, to me, I couldn’t be happier; weather be dammed.

19999_04
Arrow Benchmark

It's solidly overcast, the ground is drenched, the air smells wonderful and mercifully, it's not raining. I pick my pack up and walk over to a stump to make last-minute adjustments. When done, I look up and synesthesically take it all in. My senses are swimming. Even though I've reverted to going solo on most trips now, the enormity of this particular trip is trying to take a bite out of my confidence, like a blackfly. I tilt my head, metaphorically have a stare-down with the uncertainty that’s trying to ruin this moment then squash it underfoot, digging my heel in and spit on it for good measure. The grandiose of nature is why I came out here to begin with. I refuse to be defeated by self-doubt before I even begin.

My first objectives are just over 4,000' above me: Arrow Benchmark (12,891') and Point 12,936'. I knew this first day was going to be a bear but 4,000' of bushwhacking in stormy weather...Jesus. Hopefully the rain stays away long enough for me to set camp tonight.

Elk Park, just like at Cascade a few more miles south towards Durango also has a Wye. Some people who utilize the railroad do so to gain access to Chicago Basin for the 14ers located there. Chicago Basin is almost an indiscriminate and easily overlooked stop in the canyon marked only with a large pedestrian bridge. It’s too narrow and too close to the river for a Wye to be built. So a lot of folks don’t know what a Wye is nor have ever seen one. So what is it?

A Wye is built on a level, open area solely for the benefit of a railroad to provide the conductor a place to turn the train around, usually due to inclement weather or hazards on the tracks that the staff cannot remedy. The problem with Animas Canyon is that it is prohibitively steep on both sides for most of its length. Cascade and Elk Park are the only reasonable open places.

The Durango-Silverton line built the Wye at Elk Park in 1884 to turn the locomotives around when snowdrifts were prohibitive. Snowfall, as many of us know in the San Juan Mountains is typically measured in feet. I guess what I'm trying to say, is that the weather doesn't fool around in the San Juan's. When it's warm, sunny and clear, it’s flat out beautiful. When it rains, you better have arm floaties. And when it snows, well, people eat each other (IE: Alfred Packer).

19999_08
A quick selfie at the head of Whitehead Gulch

I walked down the tracks a short ways and dropped down into a ditch full of skunk cabbage and thistle. When I reached an open path on the hillside, my legs were already wet from the vegetation. I soon moved into a mixed evergreen/aspen forest as I ascended the slope. This is where I found a well-used game trail that I decided to follow. I figured, as long as it continued in the direction I wanted, I could see no reason why I should leave it. Unfortunately after an hour or so, the rain came back.

A light mist hit me like a pressure wave while I was ascending through the dense trees until the full force of the deluge showed up forcing me to take cover under a short but thick copse of evergreens and douglas fir. With a later than planned departure from Silverton and now, another 45 minute hiatus, I was wondering if I'd make any summits today let alone make tree-line. The rain/weather was that bad. In fact, there’s videos of drivers on hwy. #550 filming the downpour, waterfalls and rocks cascading down the palisades that I was so ‘lucky’ to be in. While in the copse of trees, I cross-hatched and tied some young branches together to the other trees to make a loose patchwork roof. I then layered larger ones on top and piled leaves and grass just above me to elicit a rudimentary roof hoping it'd keep some of the rain off. I wondered if I'd be better served to just make camp at tree-line and use tomorrow as a long day, waking up early. But, once the rain let up, I decided to leave my makeshift shelter (which, I was kind of pleased with!) and hike through the fog and clouds to reach tree-line. The clouds lifted and I could see both objectives. I hiked through a patchwork herd of elk and finally at 6:30pm, arrived on the summit of Arrow Benchmark. It was nothing more than a mound with a USGS benchmark on top. But from US 550, it looks like a rocky cowboy hat! Roughly 40 minutes later, I arrived at Point 12,936. Again, I didn't stop for pictures or snacks. I cruised on across and down the other side hoping, from consulting my map that Whitehead Trail was down there somewhere. I found a vestigial trail and followed it around to the head of Whitehead Basin. I have to admit, I contemplated just going on through the night but I was whooped. My clothes were drenched, my pace was slowing down and I was starting to get chilled. I left the trail and found a small plateau (of sorts) and finally, at 8:00pm, I called it a day. I sat just inside the door of my tent and watched the scraps of the day being devoured by dusk. I’m always amazed and in awe at how beautiful the different layers of clouds look in the lower canyons as they slowly move up and down in elevation following the temperature differences. And with the all the colors being wrenched out of the landscape by a dying orange sun, I felt all the miserable effort and hardship gradually fall away like drops of rain. I put in a lot of work to reach this moment and it was well worth it.

What does that say about the type of person who’s willing to endure hours of relative misery for 10 minutes of spiritual bliss? I retired into my bag after a few more bites of jerky and some lemonade. There was what sounded like a large herd of mountain goats just below me in the basin braying loudly. Oddly, it soothed me into a damp but physically satisfying and dream-free sleep.

I woke post-dawn with a shellac of ice on my tent. My sleeping bag (down) was damp...not good. My gloves were wet, my boots were still wet and sadly, my socks which, I had put inside my bag to dry were also still damp. I was out of water but anachronistically, it was the least of my concerns. In my years, I've learned springs and (or) tarns are usually to be found in that small but magical transitional area between tree-line and true alpine. I disconcertingly threw everything into my pack with no regard to place and hit the muddy trail.

I knew I had a late start but considering the oceanic exploits of the prior day, I felt I needed a full night of sleep, weather be dammed. After 15 minutes of hiking, I stopped and filled my Nalgene from one of many springs. The whole area looked like a muddy abrasion. I decided to leave the trail and hiked up easy slopes on soaked tundra to the summit of Whitehead Peak, an unranked 13er. I dropped my pack, took out my tent and rainfly and laid them out to dry in the breeze. The weather out west past highway 550 and Engineer Mountain was looking progressively worse. To the south, Vestal Peak, The Trinities, Mt. Garfield etc. were already gobbled by a massive cloud bank. I seemed to be in a bit of an island of calm, I even had some intermittent sun. I was sure I could run over to Point 13,109 before I really needed to worry. It only took me about 30 minutes to reach its grassy summit. It looked farther than it actually was. I recognized a couple names in the summit register (Alyson Kirk & John Broadbooks). Spending only a few minutes on the small summit of Point 13,109, I left to head back over to Whitehead hoping to beat the clouds. At the saddle, a giant and I mean GIANT cloud-bank the color of depression was slowly skulking towards me. When I got back to Whitehead Peak, I hastily threw everything into my pack like balled up Kleenex and descended towards the saddle with Mt. Rhoda. At the saddle, it was clear I was going to be swallowed up by the thing. I set my tent back up, unfurled my pad and bag and ran up to tag Mt. Rhoda. On the summit, I had a 270° view of gloom and doom and knew things were going to get bad. At least I wasn’t on any prominent summit. I trotted back down to my tent in a weird mix of rain and graupel and crawled into my bag in full clothes (sans boots). I was majorly pissed off and not happy. And so at 12:10pm, I decided to sleep off the storm in my emergency bivy at 13,000'. At least my clothes and tent had dried out, relatively speaking.

The first thing I noticed when I woke at just after 3:00pm, the hard pellet sound of graupel against my rainfly was gone (awesome!) . It was replaced by the soft, gentle sound of snow (shit).

Snow itself doesn't bother me; what bothered me was the forecast. Yesterday was crap. Today, the forecast was angry crap. However, the rest of the week was serious crap punctuated by Taco Bell. Not going to lie, those crap beers back at Avalanche Brewery in Silverton were sounding mighty good right about now. I unzipped my Nemo Gogo (a small, one-person bivy tent) and peeked out under the fly, good Lord. There was almost 3" of wet snow on the ground, 0% visibility and snowing.

I zipped my tent back up and lay down on my semi-damp bag, contemplating going back to sleep. I listened to the patter of the snow. I was angry, disappointed. My tent and the clothes I had weren't made for these conditions. Even if I made it down to Sugarloaf Mountain to the east, (an unranked 12er) and the Seven Sisters Lakes area, even if I managed a fire from wet wood and pine needles which, I've managed in considerably worse conditions, I still had these same conditions to look forward to all week. And the pisser was that my plans would keep me in the alpine for the majority of the week. I wasn’t planning on descending back into the trees for another three days. I crawled out into the snow, packed my tent helter-skelter and hiked down out of the clouds. It was deafeningly quiet. The clouds muffled everything except for the snow hitting my jacket and pack which sounded like muted static. As I was descending through the snow, something happened I didn't plan on; I had a change of heart.

As I was pulling up my tent stakes out of the snow, I dislodged some cat scat that I had inadvertently put the stakes through. As I was hiking down into the head of Whitehead Gulch (there are no trails), that scat kept bouncing around in my head like a pebble. I stopped in a small clearing surrounded by frocked willows meaning to get rid of that annoying pebble. I did a 360° turn and observed everything around me. I appreciated that snow-line was an even demarcation about 100' or so below the ridge. I looked at the vegetation and tried to surmise why it grew where it did, thinking about how the weather and the winters’ snow affected the patterns of growth of the willows. The tundra slopes, the clouds, the gunmetal sky and the open terrain all reminded me of Iceland in spring. But the single biggest thing I noticed...was that I was alone, a lone witness. According to my map, Whitehead Gulch emptied out into the Animas and even though it was probably going to be a nightmare, I actually relished that I was going to see some backcountry that painfully few have ever seen. My expectations because of that mountain lion scat, changed and my frustrations resolved. It gave way to 'the moment.’ Sometimes, the devil really is in the details!

The wilderness can be a wonderful and magical place. Sometimes one is rewarded immediately for their efforts, other times, it doesn’t become clear until later. Sure, achieving a summit is great, it's fantastic! Standing on the summits of Vestal, North Maroon, Peak Nine, Cheeseman Mountain and Dallas Peak will forever be some of my favorite memories. But the dark side of this, is frequently back at home, I'm usually left with the feeling of wanting or needing more; or occasionally, of actually feeling empty because of the successful exploit. And from talking to others, I know I'm not the only one.

From the past few years, I've had specific experiences: watching a wasp drink from a singular raindrop on a pine needle, watching beaver kits frolic in Maroon Lake, stopping to watch pika's pull thistle and grass for the upcoming winter, walking through a creek and the subsequent tunnel it bored through old avalanche debris and wondering what normal conditions must be like to have moss as thick as a tequila hangover while on Iceland's, Mt. Esja and I can tell you, never once, while pondering such things have I ever gone home feeling cheated, empty or wanting more. I realize this is just me espousing here, rambling perhaps. I seriously wonder if our summit aspirations and goals of always being successful aren't related to social expectations to always strive for success, to reach the pinnacle and be that one person who always comes out on top and gets what they want; talk about stress!

So standing there in the mist, listening to Whitehead Creek gurgle and splash, taking in the wonderful moisture and vegetative smells and relishing that I was truly on my own in naked wilderness, I realized my trip was a failure for the right reasons and a success for the wrong ones. Just like the whole 'forest for the trees' analogy, I couldn't see the experience for the expectation. I was exactly where I needed to be. Soggy or not, I was happy.

19999_06
YUM!! Mint toothpaste and Imperial IPA!

I connected bare patches of grass through the rather impressively thick willows under a moderate drizzle. My attempts at avoiding getting wet were pretty much futile. Every stride through the grass resulted in drenched cuffs and boots. Every passage through the willows resulted in a cold shower. I accepted that getting to the railroad tracks was going to be an oceanic endeavor. But I was determined to make Animas Canyon and Elk Park by dark. I knew absolutely nothing about Whitehead Gulch. Topographic maps will spill only so many secrets. It's up to the trekker to discover the rest. In hindsight, Whitehead Gulch was a great place, a true slice of unspoiled Colorado backcountry. This is something I constantly strive to find. It is for this reason that attracted me to Bondholder Basin, Upper Leviathan Basin and parts of the Weminuche. I truly regret not lingering to appreciate it.

I kept bushwhacking down canyon through an increasing drizzle weaving in and out of willows, patches of evergreen trees, thick grass and crossing Whitehead Creek (sometimes just splashing through it) more times than I can remember. Even in the shaded portions where the trees grew tall and dense, I was struck at how little deadfall and downed trees there were. I ended up stopping at a small but elevated plateau well-sheltered by thick trees as if they were linking arms like welcoming Ents. I leaned up against a tree bracing my pack into my upper back to keep it from pulling me down and slowly let the moisture and wet pine smell fill my senses. The sensation was incredible and only heightened by the audible switchover of the drizzle into an outright shower. The droplets of rain, like rogue missiles falling from the pine needles, crashed across the brim of my hat, my pack cover and jacket. The rain thudded to the ground like cluster bombs and everything blended into this wondrous symphony of white static across the valley. I opened my eyes and watched the clouds drift up the valley like advance scouts for further regiments. I won't lie, I wasn't entirely without frustration but it's moments like this that we all strive for but are usually too focused on staying comfortable or attaining our goals. And I'm just as guilty of this as the next guy.

I was sharing this small spit of land with the skeletal remains of all things, a wheelbarrow! There was also the ancient framework of a small cabin jutting out of the wet earth like exposed moss-covered ribs. It literally felt like I was in No-Man's Land and yet, here was evidence of man's passage. Is there no place in this state where man hasn't trod? I stayed there under the trees for a good, long while. It was peaceful, relaxing and not entirely uncomfortable. I strongly considered just putting my tent up right there. The locale was partially sheltered from above and there were some thick bushes off to one side. The spot was elevated, perched almost so the views across the valley were quite good. Despite being thoroughly soaked, leaning there against the tree in the rain, I felt completely at peace.

The next three hours really were miserable; there's just no other way to say it. I know I mentioned earlier about the need to appreciate the experience, to be in the moment, but let’s call a spade a spade here. I spent three hours trekking through wet grass, willows, patches of forest, down steep cut ravines and side-hilling mud. At one point, I literally almost fell into a waterfall trying to retrieve my trekking pole as I cornered myself into a ravine. I just walked through Whitehead Creek several times to find the path of least resistance. At some point, I stumbled across an old path and followed it for perhaps, a few hundred meters to an old miners shack. I pried open the small, rusty 'biner on the door and stepped inside to a mercifully dry cabin. I unshouldered my pack and let it drop to the wooden floorboards like a stone. I walked over and collapsed into what looked like a homemade chair. I was exhausted. Sitting in the chair, I relished not moving. I relished sitting down and I relished not being rained on.

I scanned the interior of the cabin and took inventory: newspapers, old coffee cans, random tools, a ladder, matches, ample mouse droppings, charred remains of wood and paper, nails, a few candles, two (surprisingly) unbroken windows, an axe and shovel who’s seen better days, a few kerosene cans, two makeshift bunks and a broken flue. I thought about staying the night there, laying my pad on the floor and sleeping in dryness. To come across something like this, at this particular moment under these conditions seemed like a Godsend. Considering where I was in the backcountry, I have to admit, I was really curious why this place was in as good of shape as it was. I desperately wanted to stay but honestly, I wasn’t having good feelings about the place, and I can’t particularly say why. My ‘spidey-sense’ was telling me, screaming almost, to NOT stay the night. And if there’s anything I’ve learned in my life of pursuing the mountains and wilderness, it’s always listen to your gut.

So I choose to limit my time in the cabin. It’s the biggest curiosity I have from this trip because I want to know why? But don’t we all, of similar situations? I wanted to splay ALL my clothing and equipment out to air-dry anyway. I wouldn't have been able to do that where I was. The cabin, weirdly not musty, was tall, almost two stories high actually. It just didn’t have much floor space. Plus, I had no idea what the next couple days would hold. So after an hour, give or take, I opted to move on.

19999_05
Unnamed 12,936 under temporarily better weather

I stepped out into the rain and followed the remnants of the old trail into a pile of tailings and promptly lost it. I stumbled downhill towards the creek where the tree-cover was thicker to get out of the rain. ‘There has got to be a road or improved trail around here somewhere,’ I thought. 'There's just no way someone hauled all this stuff up here without leaving a track or road to follow.' I decided to cross the creek and hauled myself up the short but steep embankment. I walked through some bushes taller than me and bingo! I found an old road! I stood on the grass covered wheel ruts for a few minutes wondering if there was once a bridge and if not, where on earth did this thing go? I've gotten pretty good at tracking over the years, finding routes but this thing completely avoided me. I decided to follow the archaic road since it was heading down valley. Nature was doing an efficient job at reclaiming it which, made me wonder all the more why that cabin was in the condition it was. After 20-30 minutes of following a continually improving road, at 7:45pm, I slid and jumped down onto the railroad tracks from the embankment (road). I stood on the railroad ties for a few minutes looking up and down the Animas. I glanced up at the sky, wiping the rain from my cheeks then over towards the gulch I had just descended. I smirked a little bit as I started walking back towards Elk Park but it quickly turned into a ‘matter of fact’ avowal. I acknowledged to myself that with what I had planned, with how everything had turned out and the possible consequences, I felt rather good and comfortable being on my own despite everything. I thought I made some good decisions, nothing terrible save for accepting a bad forecast a few days prior and partially sad I was throwing in the towel. But I failed to pack a canoe, so there is that.

A quarter mile down the tracks, I spied a deer at the bare patch of grass I used two days earlier to gain access to the shoulder and aspen forest. We stared at each other in the gathering dusk, neither of us moving. Thankfully, the rain had subsided to a light mist. The deer’s brown and tan colored hair gleamed from the rain in the dying light. It bowed its' head once, stared at me for a few more seconds than went on grazing. I took this acquiescence as confirmation that I made the right decision in hiking out. It's been a number of years since this trip, but this particular moment lulls a knowing smile from me of recondite knowledge achieved only through experience.

I bowed my head towards the deer, nodded an affirmation and walked on with a quiet heart. For the next 90 minutes, I searched for a non-flooded tent site and hung all my possessions out in the trees to dry overnight. While doing all this, I don't believe I ever said one word aloud. At 10:20pm, overtly exhausted, I tied myself to the anchor of my boat, threw myself overboard and plummeted into the blackness of sleep. My maritime adventure was finally over.

I woke promptly at 6:00am. I set my alarm because I knew I was going to need all the time I could muster in order to continue to drying out my clothing, my equipment and sleeping bag/pad. I squirmed out of my down cocoon into a damp and warm morning. The skies were nickel gray and rolling. Puddles adorned the ground like reflective gems and everything was absolutely still and quiet. I almost felt like an intruder. I was still groggy and sleepy and felt like I had slept eight hours too many. Looking up at the clouds, it almost gave me vertigo thinking, I was actually looking down at pacified but troublesome seas. It made me think of a poem I like:

"It is lonely here, Living in the hazy moment

between the alarm and awakening

where the dream precipitates madness as its' encore..."

(-first stanza)

I broke down my tent, stripped naked and laid everything out across bushes or on branches to air-dry better. As I was sitting on a log drying my socks and underwear over my camp stove, a mild breeze started up. And for the next five hours, I attended to my slow-drying clothes, flipping it over constantly. I brewed some coffee and made oatmeal with a German Weissbier. I had run out of water and having no reliable sources available, I resorted to using my two celebratory beers I stashed in the Animas. My steripen which, I use for water purification stopped working. Whether because of the batteries or critical parts had gotten wet, I don’t know. I saved the Imperial IPA for brushing my teeth with later.

At 11:00am, the train pulled in and whisked me away to Silverton. I was so deep in thought and enamored by the warm cup of coffee in my hands, I remember absolutely nothing of the ride back to town. I ended up getting a room in Gunnison and went out to hike Tenderfoot Mountain since I was fidgety as a squirrel. As a contingency prize, the next day I hiked Tomichi Dome outside of Gunnison, a mountain I've wanted for quite some time. And all 2,490' of rise kicked my butt.

It’s truly amazing sometimes at how important misery can be towards making a great trip. Because even though things didn’t work out, this was a great trip!

Here's a video of the storm I was caught in at 12,000+'. This is NOT MY VIDEO.




Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
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 Comments or Questions
TomPierce
Welcome back
01/09/2020 21:48
You've been missed, Kiefer. As I read your report I was reminded how much I enjoyed your writing style. Hoping for more reports in the future. Take care out there (and stay dry!)

-Tom


Jay521

What Tom said...
01/10/2020 17:27
I'm with Tom on this - I also have always enjoyed your writing style and hope that you will continue to post TR's on the site. And a good beer does seem to compensate for a wet day, doesn't it?


shelly+

captivating.
01/10/2020 20:36
the tone of this report beautifully conveys the experience. lovely to read.


Mtnman200

Nice report
01/10/2020 22:03
I missed you by 10 days on Rhoda, Whitehead, and 13109. After your fun with the rain, you probably don't want to hear that I had nice weather. The San Juan weather can be a real crapshoot.


climbnowworklater

Nice.
01/11/2020 12:08
Well written TR as usual. Wondered how you've been and glad you posted this. Take care of yourself Kiefer and if you get to the springs....beers on me!


oldschool

We decide...
01/15/2020 06:26
...when we're having fun, just as you said. It is not dictated to us by others.

Enjoyed the read very much my friend. I too am comfortable being uncomfortable!


ctlee

This is why we do it!
01/30/2020 07:55
Awesome report! There's a group of "oldtimers" (haha) on this site that I've always enjoyed reading-nice to see a report from you again. And a reminder that it's all about the experience-not always the "hero" summit shots!



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