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

Archive for November, 2008

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.


Let It Snow!

First major snowfall of the season, as seen from my bedroom window this morning!

First major snowfall of the season, as seen from my bedroom window this morning!

We had our first big snowfall of the year last night! Reports of up to 12-14 inches fell up in the mountains, and we got at least 4-5 in. here in town, so everything was blanketed in white and beautiful this morning. I guess as many people prayed for snow as voted for President-elect Obama yesterday… Well, at least I can be happy about all this beautiful snow! :) Bring on ski season! (And, I look forward to being proven wrong on the political front.)

Taken 11/5/2008.


Independence Pass Morning

Black & White pic of sunny peak among clouds, from Independence Pass

Black & White pic of sunny peak among clouds, from Independence Pass

Somewhat thematic “Independence” pic for Election Day today… Had some great lighting, with the sun breaking through onto peaks with clouds all around, so I decided to try a Black & White photo. This was taken while driving up Independence Pass early in the morning, on the way to my Colorado Trail hike and Uncle Bud’s Hut trip (see my other posts from that trip, here on Aspen Views at, “Elbert And Massive” and “Sunset At Uncle Bud’s“.

Taken 9/21/2008.


Last Fall

Colorful Colorado in Fall, from the the back side of Snowmass Ski Area, on East Snowmass Trail

Colorful Colorado in Fall, from the the back side of Snowmass Ski Area, on East Snowmass Trail

A little duality in the title there… We’re supposed to get a big storm in the next few days, signaling the “last (of) fall,” and the beginning of winter. And, this photo was taken a year ago, “last fall” when I was out here in Aspen to interview and find housing.

I was on the East Snowmass Trail, after starting on the Ditch Trail at the Campground Parking Lot. This view is looking up at the back side of Snowmass Ski Area. In fact, the ridgeline in this photo is where I hiked up in August of this year, along Sneaky’s ski run (see my earlier posts “Old Beer, Flora” and “Summer Ski Jump”). I loved the varied red, grey, and tan colors of the cliffs above, along with the bright yellow aspen trees and green conifers below.

Taken 9/29/2007.


Snowmass Capitol Daly

Snowmass Ski Area and surrounding peaks, from the Rio Grande Trail

Snowmass Ski Area and surrounding peaks, from the Rio Grande Trail


A great view of the Snowmass Ski Area and surrounding peaks–Mt. Daly (13,300 ft) at far right, and Capitol Peak (14,130 ft) to its left–as seen from the Rio Grande Trail. I thought of this photo, because it’s similar to the view I had this evening, as I was getting a free horse riding lesson from a new friend!

Taken 5/31/2008.


Fall Sunset Over Ajax

Nice colors with the clouds, and the changing aspen trees on Aspen Mtn.

Nice colors with the clouds, and the changing aspen trees on Aspen Mtn.


Another beautiful Aspen sunset… taken just outside the entrance to my condo building, looking at Aspen Mountain (Ajax).

Taken 9/23/2008.