wilderness, mountains, and entertainment in the rocky mountain valhalla of Aspen, CO


Alaska Views

Campsite at Grizzly Bear Lake, Chugach Range, Alaska

Campsite at Grizzly Bear Lake, Chugach Range, Alaska

OK, another non-Aspen view on the “Aspen Views” photoblog today… The topic of Alaska came up recently, and that got me thinking about my backpacking trip there a few years ago. It was shortly after my great visits out to Aspen; when I had decided I must move back to the mountains. This four-day adventure in the wilds of Alaska demonstrated to me exactly how out of shape I was, especially after our 12-hour hike on Day 3 (long days up there that time of year)! But the sheer magnitude and beauty of the place made up for a lot of the pain.

This photo shows our Day 2 campsite at Grizzly Bear Lake. My description from a blog entry I created a week afterwards reads, “The river/creek runs under a snow bridge, then down to the lake. It’s green and lush in the valley, surrounded by rugged peaks on all sides. The large rocks in the area where we camp were left behind as glacial moraine, and have long since been covered by moss and tundra vegetation. They look almost like small grass moguls on a flat ski slope, especially as the light gets low (it’s still dusk at midnight!).

My cousin Yvonne and her then-newlywed husband Billy were our outstanding guides for the trip, and Billy’s Peak a Week site gives a better fix on the location (with a map of our route), and has some great photos as well!

Taken 7/19/2006.

Yin And Yang With Mountains

Mosaic of yin yang at top of the Rim Trail in Snowmass

Mosaic of yin yang at top of the Rim Trail in Snowmass

This wonderful mosaic—depicting the yin and yang taijitu in the center, and spiraling outward—can be found on top of the beginning section of the Rim Trail, just above Snowmass Village. Appropriately, there was great lighting from sun on the distant peaks to the north, beyond the cloudy skies overhead.

This first part of the Rim Trail provided a good short hike, with a bit of steepness to it, and providing great 360 views, with the option to continue on for the rest of the 6-7 mile loop.

Taken 5/26/2008.

Peter Estin Hut

The Peter Estin Hut

The Peter Estin Hut

Since my last post talked about my favorite place to ski (Highland Bowl)… I guess I should clarify, that’s my favorite ski area-based place to ski. However, I did my first hut trip last winter, and so I’d have to say the backcountry is my overall favorite place to ski!

This photo shows the Peter Estin Hut, about 25 miles SSE of Eagle, CO. That was the destination for our group in March 2008. We got lucky with perfect weather and skiing conditions, and even did a full moon ski one night!

For more, you can see the video of this trip, which I created from some of my favorite photos and video clips!

Taken 3/21/2008.