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Sunday, May 21, 2017

Ice Ice Baby...

It was a fast and furious weekend that ended all too soon. Caleb and Kelli just departed for home and Bobbie just left for a day of work at Mountain Fever. Other than the rhythmic groan of an overpacked dishwasher, I am left alone in the post-party vacuum of a too quiet house.
Having only one day and two nights with loved ones, on the heels of a three-day storm more reminiscent of March than May, we thought our time together would be best spent outdoors, playing in the icy, high-altitude aftermath. 

We bundled up and piled into Petroleus Rex, put him in Four Wheel Drive, and headed up Camp Bird Road to see how far we could get.

The above photo shows the Icy Impasse. So I (carefully) backed down to a slightly wider spot in the road and parked. Guess we'd have to hike the rest of the way up to Yankee Boy Basin...that is, if we could negotiate a section of narrow, icy, over-hung road and a maze of icicles waiting to fall and send us plunging over the edge. A day without a few drops of adrenaline is a day wasted :)

 We all took turns wiping out. The surface was impossible to stand up on; lumps and bumps and slicker 'n snot. It helped to hug the wall at first, but eventually it proved to be an all-fours crawl. Every so often a huge hunk of ice would come crashing down. Yeah..."iffy."

Caleb and I made it through...leaving the gals to fend for themselves. Once through the "tunnel," everything settled down. White mountains against Colorado Blue skies, and a few puffs clouds. Beautiful beyond belief, and worth the risk. 

It's difficult to see, but the below photo of an avalanche chute shows large trees laid over and/or literally snapped off like they were toothpicks. 

We are headed around behind Stoney Mountain, shown above and below. There's a lot of gasping for air going on.

Finally, a view of 14,150 foot Mount Sneffles (above left). The County dozer had just cleared the road to Yankee Boy Basin, then the big storm hit and dumped another 3 feet.

Time to head down. A day well spent, full of memories and snapshots of good times. Now if we can only get through that icy section unscathed. This time I suggest teaming up...still, we all wiped out. 


  1. The snow is beautiful but you guys are insane!!

  2. Ditto what J&G said!

    That looks so freaking beautiful, I would love to see that! You are incredibly fortunate to live in such beauty.

  3. The icicles are spectacular, but, wow, daggers for sure! Glad you all survived walking the gauntlet:) The bright snow and brilliant blue sky sure created gorgeous photos:)

  4. Your so lucky! So amazingly beautiful!

  5. I can not believe you guys DID THAT! Have you considered yaktraks? You do live in an astoundingly beautiful part of the world.

  6. That looks so freaking beautiful, I would love to see that! You are incredibly fortunate to live in such beauty.

  7. I love the non stop adventuring spirit Mark! What is living without danger? You inspired me to start recording some of my hikes, adventures, and really...just my thoughts. Check it out anytime if you get a chance! It's in the very early stages of being anything at all haha :) Happy trails to you and Bobbie! thuggedoutcubscout.blogspot.com

    1. Wow Juliet...just read all your posts on you new blog and was caught up by your prose and wander lusted heart. You are on track, my off beat woman friend. Keep up the "search," follow your heart, and trust in the Universe to get you "there." Love, love, love your introspection. Solid, gut level leveling in an oh so confused world. I added you to my links.
      People... take a look at Juliet!!!!
      Box Canyon Mark

  8. Late wildflower season this year? Can't imagine walking along the drop-off on that ice! You always find adventure somewhere.

  9. Great to see Camp Bird Rd and all the icicles hanging over that narrow section of the gorge Mark, something we will never get to see. Have only experienced winter in Ouray once and it was gorgeous.
    Now we have already had our first heat wave here a week ago but we have Seattle weather all this week but will warm up on Memorial Day. Saw my first fat tire bike today at Safeway, it was parked inside the store I guess it's either that or chain a pit bull to it. Thought of you. Ok see you at the Hot Springs soon, better get some new shorts since you all will be on Live Acton Zoom Cam.🙂

  10. I agree with Allison, surely in those monster survival packs of yours, Yaktraks, (which roll up smaller than a tennis ball,) are worthy of a place in the pack? Right next to the space blanket?? It's tough to take such stunning photos if one is on crutches. ;-)

  11. Your pictures are unbelievable and so inspirational. Seems you had an unforgettable trip:)


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