Tag Archives: continental divide

red sky at morn…

18 Jan

Sailors take warn.

red sky at morn

Almost exactly 12 hours after this fabulous sunrise (as seen from the Inn at Keystone…) woke Summit County from its peaceful slumber, a cold front blew in bringing with it 40 mph winds with 70 mph gusts and two (yes, a measly TWO ) inches of snow. Alas, it made for a beautiful sight while it lasted.



15 Jan

“They are beau­ti­ful and ugly, peace­ful and malev­o­lent, holy and unholy—

some­times all at once.”

They inspire, they love, they punish and they teach–always all at once.

cntl dvde

shades of night.

7 Jan

I walked outside after work this evening thinking Abbs and I could take a stroll.

It had been a beautiful day. One of those winter days where bright blue skies, still air and hot sun almost trick you into believing that March had arrived two months early. That Winter had already delivered his worst; already covered the fir trees and rivers in a sheath of snow and ice and that March had arrived, like a knight in shining armor, to melt away the chill that had taken up residence in the inhabitants of this rough and tumble mountain community.

Abbey and I wandered down to the river, moseying and picking our way carefully through the crusty, knee-deep snow. I reached the bank and stopped for a moment, letting the sound of the rushing water envelope my senses and when I lifted my eyes, I was greeted by the very beginning of what would end up as a spectacular Rocky Mountain sunset.

I unzipped my jacket pocket in search of my phone so I could capture the orange clouds as they streaked across the still blue sky, when I realized that I had left my phone on the kitchen counter.

The slightest of waves of disappointment washed over me when I realized that my bragging rights had taken a dig, but the sky held me captive and I knew if I turned away to get my phone, the moment would be over and my opportunity to reawaken my senses would disappear in a flash.

So I stood there, with Abbey beside me, and watched in silence as the sky moved from orange to peach to magenta to violet, reaching a crescendo as the snow-capped peaks were painted in a rosy glow of pinks and purples. Ice lining the river’s edge, framing the river rocks in a halo of what could easily have been lace, cradled a reflection so clear that it was as if Mother Nature were modeling her prom dress in a mirror.

As the sun sank lower below the Continental Divide and the sky grew darker, the oranges and the pinks and the violets took on an ashy hue, announcing the arrival of Night and the promise of yet another beautiful day in the Rockies; another day whose beauty could inspire even the most cynical of shredders.

phs, buffalo slayer.

26 Oct

Third time’s a charm, right?

Wrong, at least in the case of reaching the summit of Buffalo Mountain. Before finally reaching Buffalo’s summit on Friday afternoon at promptly 12:05pm, I was thwarted not twice, but three times.

First by Gucci.


Second by the goats.


And third by Gnarly, who aptly earned the nickname of Gnot-So-Gnar.


So when Mer suggested a fourth attempt at Buffalo’s summit, I was all for it. Minus dogs and goats and frankly anything else that would get in our way.

For those of you familiar with Summit County, Buffalo Mountain is the dimpled peak that marks your arrival in Summit as you approach, heading west on I-70 or Hwy 6.

Mer and I trekked through a thick Lodgepole Pine forest, negotiated our way up an expansive boulder field, stumbled across a wind-blown tundra and trudged through shin deep snow fields before doing a happy dance at a modest 12,777 feet above sea level, Buffalo’s summit.

Although only five-some miles roundtrip, you gain about 3000 feet in vert in about two and half miles, and the boulders and wind make it tricky to stay on the trail. But if you’re looking for a challenging hike with a reward that’s composed of breathtaking views of the Tenmile Range, Copper Mountain, Lake Dillon and of course the surrounding east side of Summit County, this is your hike.

Just watch out for the goats…their pointy hooves and beady little eyes are unforgiving.


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