Friday, January 6, 2012

Welcome 2012!!!

Happy New Year!  The start of the new year has me thinking about this summer's summit attempts.  It is shaping up to be a great summer. My plan for 2012 is to try to finish off the Sawatch Range.  Nine more summits are awaiting me there. 

From the research I have been doing so far it looks like there are some beautiful approaches to these summits.  I am looking at 2- 3 overnight trips to try to get in 2 sets of  two-for-one summit attempts (Harvard/Columbia & Shavano/Tabeguache).  The other overnighter I really want to try in the Halo Ridge route on Mt of the Holy Cross; spending the night in the shelter on the way to the summit.

2012 14ers Wish List
Mt Massive 14,421'
Mt Harvard 14,420'
Mt Columbia 14,073'
La Plata Peak 14,336'
Mt Antero 14,269'
Mt Princeton 14,197'
Mt Shavano 14,229'
Tabeguache Peak 14,155'
Mt of the Holy Cross 14,005'

I would also like to try to get in Chicago Basin this year, since the rain flooded out last year's attempt.  This will probably depend on the rest of this winter's snow and when we can safely get into this area.  So far it has been a low snow year, with most of the resorts (at least in "northern" Colorado) reporting only real snow in the high 20 inch range.  Hard to believe after last year's massive snow amounts. 

What is bad for the skiing and the rafting seasons, may make for a good 14er season for me, if the light snows allow me to get into the high country earlier this year.  So dear readers (you know who you 2 are), check out the list, and pick out the ones you just can't wait to attempt, and come join me.


 Over this past fall I have picked up some new gear for this summer.  First off was a pair of Micospikes that I found on Craigslist.  I just used these for the first time this past week, and they are my new favorite piece of gear.  I feel so solid on the trail with these attached to my feet. I highly recommend these for anyone heading out on icy trails. 

I also pick up a 65 cm Black Diamond Raven ice axe with slider leash.  I figured now that I have extensive experience using one (see my post on Mount Sherman for more details) that I should purchase my own.  Picked it up at REI, when they had the 20% off membership coupon.

After the trip to the Belford Group last summer I decided I needed a new, warmer sleeping bag.  I bought a Marmot Sawtooth 15° down (650 fill) sleeping bag from Sierra trading Post.  It was another screaming deal; it was on sale then I had a 30% off coupon on top of the sale price.  I think I picked it up for just over $100 (msrp $260ish).  I am hoping the 15°, is not to warm for summer, but since I sleep cold I figured it was worth it.  If it is too hot I can always use it as a quilt.

My last purchase (so far) is a new camera.  After the battery door failed/broke on my Nikon CoolPix L22 (same place on 2 different cameras), and Nikon wanted $79 to fix it (10 dollars less than a new, updated model)  I decided it was time for something new and a little more rugged.  I swore I was not going to get another Nikon, because I was not happy with the outcome of the battery door, but after looking at my options I decided to go with the Nikon CoolPix AW100.   It is waterproof to 30 feet and drop/shockproof up to five feet.  It also records video in HD (1080 dpi).  I just got it today so I have not had time to play with it yet, I'll give you all a review of it once I get it out in the field.  My hope is that it will replace my video camera, and I will only have to take one camera on trips rather than 2.  Once again I got a screaming deal from B & H photo.  MSRP is $379, B & H had it on sale for $259, then I got another $20  off as a first time buyer with "Bill Me Later".  I would have liked to have bought it locally at Jax, but it was too good of a deal to pass up.


So now it is time to start working on the logistics for this summer.  A project to keep me from going stir crazy, until I can get boots onto the mountains.  Until next time, take it "one step at a time!"

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