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Sunday, July 16, 2017

An Abram summit with the Swift Family Anderson

You see it from afar, sandwiched mightily in a noticeable gap, a snowcapped pyramid as magical and powerful those found along River Nile in Egypt. It's true what they say, you know, about the Powers inherent in Pyramidal shapes. I've seen it for myself. Weird shit...like finding my normally dull pocketknife honed to a razor's edge after ascending Abrams Pyramidal peak. And then there are stories...rumors of old men with vasectomies who, upon return, impregnate unassuming women with tied tubes. FYI Geezers, lest you desire putting yet another rugrat through college or your Social Security check halved by child support payments, I recommend abstaining from sex for at least a week after climbing Abram.

A few weeks back I did a post on summiting Red Mountain 1 with the "Swift Family Andersons," long-distance runners and part-time neighbors from Kentucky who's hearts more and more reside in Lovely Ouray. 

Well, they're back, as Jack Nicholson would say, and the monsoons finally took a day off. Old Sol took a shining to Abram's pyramid, a peak that sometimes looks so close you can reach out and touch it; others, so far, far away it disappears in mists of clouds. I don't like it when our mountains are shrouded in clouds. It's like a nightmare where I die and wake up in Kansas.

Some of you, the one's who actually read these posts instead of just flipping through the purdy pictures, will recall that a few posts back we summited a somewhat snowy Mount Abram with Kay and Sue. Now why, some are rightfully wondering—with literally thousands of mountains to choose from—would we want to re-do Abram? Well I'll tell you why: One, it's tame-as-a-puppy after snow comes off; steep, but easy. And Two, because one is not officially a "local" until they've summited Lovely Ouray Sentinels, Abram and Twin peaks. Having already bagged Twin Peaks last year, the "Swift Family" only needed Abram to become true "Ouranians" (pronounced, Your-anians) or as some our more "colorful" locals say, "Ouranus'es"  (Your-anus'es). 

What a difference a couple of weeks makes. The massive glacier of snow was almost gone in Abram's vertiginous approach couloir. Even though we had a bone-dry June, a few old men of the mountain wildflowers clung for life against the odds...waving and smiling to our delight. 

Gaining the ridge after a long steep pull up the couloir 
And then there's The Reds—always outstanding in their field in an otherwise boring neighborhood—looking for the world like Gawd Almighty kicked over a bucket of orange paint while redoing His Upper Room. What better and more fitting backdrop to rest eyes, especially given the Anderson's having summited two out of the three Reds. Slow is the process of "connecting dots" when you are part-timers. 

Getting close...

Donna, on lavender rock with lavender flowers and red mountains

Smiles from the summit, Lovely Ouray nestled in a distant Crevice, and a smattering of puffy clouds. Priceless Memories. 

Light and shadow cavort on the mountain

You've heard of the Old Man and the Sea? Well heres an "old man of the mountains."

Panoramas, scroll  ⇥


  1. As usual, only more than usual, these photos were tremendous. Magnificent. Could almost make me want to try it.

    1. And once again...all photos taken with iPhones :)

  2. Crazy that all those shots are taken with iPhones! You're living the post card!

  3. It looks much more inviting this time around without all the snow!

  4. Can't say that I blame you for completing this a second time. The snow is beautiful but sure is spectacular when the Reds are showing their colors. Always nice to share with friends:)

  5. I love the picture at the top of the post! Way back in 2000 I climbed it and I didn't know about some of the jeep roads that get you partway up. I just parked near the buildings at Crystal Lake and hiked up the first steep drainage right behind them. On my way back down I realized that I could've had a much easier hike. After reading your post I'm thinking I need to revisit this special place. What is your favorite route getting up to the ridge?

    1. Lordy, Mike, From Crystal Lake? Really? Not sure I could do it...all those drainages are steep, and to add that much elevation gain, just wow!
      We turn in at Ironton below the tailings pile, Corkscrew goes right, Brown Mountain Road goes left...same road that takes you to Gray Copper Trail. But keep on going, staying on the most used, most direct jeep road. We usually park near the pond, you'll see it, hike up the road to the left or north (there is a road to the right that just keeps going toward Brown Mountain) until it reaches a very steep couloir, then hike straight up to the ridge line and hang a left. We do it 2 or 3 times a year; such a great ridge run and massive views of all the Red Mountains and Lovely Ouray.
      Or, we could play tour guide and take you with us next time :)
      thanks, mark

  6. Wow, your header photo takes my breath away!

  7. This view is absolutely sick! What an amazing adventure! Thanks for the article share, love checking out your blog. Always an interesting read!

  8. You sure do pick on Kansas a lot.....

    Just proving I don't only look at the pictures! lol

  9. Great guidance, great pics, great blog. Thanks Mark! I don't know how you navigate through the labyrinth of options on these mountains with no clear trail to follow. Mountains resemble life: so many paths, and so few trail markers.


  10. Hi Mark and Bobbie!
    Still enjoying your blog, even though I don't participate like you wish. My bad. Mom (Laverne) would have loved these pictures in your past few posts. Even though she would never had made it to the title of "local" I think she always thought of herself as an "honorary" Ouranian. She never forgot her chance meeting with you two all those years ago. Sadly, she succumbed to the Big C in February but she never missed her Box Canyon blog fix, even up to the end. Give her a wave for me next time you're on top of one of those beautiful mountains.
    Ouray is still on my radar but we sure won't be pulling our fifth wheel over the Million Dollar highway! We will take the wimpy approach from the north. Take care and keep up the excellent posts!
    Julie (currently in Portland,OR)

    1. Julie,
      Thank you for the kind words and letting us know about Laverne's passing. It was a "chance" meeting with her. I'll never forget her excitement while were having pizza with friends in the saloon at the Western Hotel. Up walks this excited, animated, unabashed lady that recognized Bobbie and I from the blog. For a brief moment, she made us feel like rock stars...pouring out beatitudes and gratitudes regarding the BCB and our adventures. We will miss her, knowing now she is no longer in the audience. We will give a wave on our next summit. Rest in peace, Laverne.
      mark and bobbie


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