Peak(s):  "Cupid"  -  13,117 feet
Sniktau, Mt  -  13,234 feet
Date Posted:  02/02/2021
Date Climbed:   01/31/2021
Author:  jlevers
 Sniktau and Cupid: the first of many!  

I've been dreaming of moving to Colorado for a long, long time. I've spent most of the last few years since I graduated from high school on the move, traveling all over the country (and to some extent, the world), but very few places have caught my eye like the Rockies. Every time I passed through, I was awestruck by the sheer scale of the mountains here.

Settling down feels strangely scary after years of transience. I spent way too long waiting for the perfect time to set up my home base here, but eventually I realized that there's no such thing as a perfect time. Six weeks ago I finally pulled the trigger on a place to stay in Boulder! I arrived in mid-January, and the past couple weeks were a whirlwind of catching up on work, finding furniture, and all the other mundane tasks involved in establishing your life in a new place.

As often happens, I got distracted by the busywork and ignored the real reason I moved here in the first place: the outdoors! When I realized that, I decided to set an early example for myself of how to prioritize my lifeâoutdoors over work. I pulled myself out of the to-do list pit, bought a guidebook, joined this website, and started reading...and quickly found myself spending hours browsing trip reports, reading forum threads, and dreaming about the seemingly infinite number of routes to climb.

The term an embarrassment of riches seems apt: there are so many great options that I couldn't decide where to start. I eventually forced myself to make a decision, and decided on a relaxed option for my first solo winter hike. A low-mileage, non-technical hike like Sniktau and Cupid felt like a reasonable option. I tend to overcommit myself, whether it’s to work or exercise or anything else, but my winter experience in the White Mountains of New Hampshire (much shorter than the Rockies, but they have some gnarly weather) taught me that in an environment as unforgiving as the alpine in winter, overcommitting can have worse results than just some unexpected Type 2 fun...especially when solo.

I hit the road and promptly got introduced to the morning traffic on I-70 West. Glad I got that out of the way earlyâfrom now on, I’m driving up the night before and sleeping in my car. I’m definitely no stranger to a good car-sleep...I honestly kind of enjoy it, because it usually means something exciting is happening the next day.

On the way up from the trailhead

I haven’t spent much time at significant altitude, and I noticed how different it felt the second I stepped out of my car, on top of Loveland Pass. Weirdly, I felt really out of breath at first, but after a few minutes I stopped noticing. I did hike much slower than usual, though, so maybe that’s why.

Looking towards Sniktau

I couldn’t stop grinning the whole way up. There was lots of traffic until I took a left at the fork where the trail split to go to Sniktau or Cupid/Grizzly. The traffic mellowed out a lot after that, and I motored on over to Sniktauâmy first 13er! It felt gooood. There were cornices o’plenty on the ridgeline, which were a new sight for me...they’re beautiful!

Looking over the ridgeline cornices towards Grays

After a quick snack and drink at Sniktau I cruised back to the fork in the trail, and then continued past it towards Cupid. The ridgeline up to Cupid was much windier for some reason, but I honestly enjoyed the wind! It was such a warm day that a little windchill was welcome.

On the way to Cupid

The views of Grizzly from the summit of Cupid were incredible, and I really wanted to summit Grizzly, but I decided I should stick to my hike plan and leave it for another day.

Grizzlly looking gooood from the summit of Cupid

The hike wasn’t that challenging, but it feels like the beginning of a new chapter of my lifeâone where I spend more time in the mountains, like I’ve been dreaming of for years. It’s time for me to learn the skills and live the stories that until now were just that: stories told by mountaineers whom I’ve always admired from afar. Babies learn to crawl, then walkâI feel like I’ve learned to walk, but now I’m learning to climb.

See you out there!

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
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 Comments or Questions
Nice report
02/04/2021 23:00
That certainly is a beautiful place.


02/05/2021 20:23
Welcome from another recent transplant! Great photos!

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