After a string of fall storms brought snow to much of the state, winter has been on everyones mind. Usually we’re excited to pull the stuff out of the closet and head up to Castle Peak’s Montezuma Basin for some early season skiing but for some reason we weren’t feeling too motivated by the prospect. We wanted to do something different.
Christy’s goal of climbing the 100 tallest peaks in Colorado is in its homestretch. The weekend before last she got one more behind her by slogging up Mount Silverheels, leaving her with only three to go. We figured that of the three remaining, Horseshoe Mountain, 13,898 feet, might make a good weekend/Halloween outing so off we went. Horseshoe Mountain is in the Mosquito Range, between the towns of Leadville and Fairplay and just south of the 14er Mount Sherman.
Unfortunately, there have been an unusually high number of reported avalanche accidents and incidents this season already. The list is posted here. We hoped to stay off that list so we weren’t looking for anything too spicy and thought Horseshoe, with a couple of routes to pick from, would be a reasonably safe outing. And we figured since it was the summit we were after and not a thrilling descent, we could bring the skis, see what we found and make the call then. If it was too thin we could leave them behind. We knew it was on the receiving end of recent storms but it’s also one of the windiest places in the state and we weren’t sure if the new snow had been blown all the way to Nebraska, as is often the case. In sum– we wanted some snow, but not too much. And that’s exactly what we found, so we went skiing.
And the parting shot– Jesse Rickert tees off somewhere in the middle of the front nine of the Central Rongbuk Glacier Disc Golf Course– Everest Basecamp, 17,200 feet, Tibet, May 2003. Inspired in part by our desperation to kill time while acclimatizing for our Everest climb, we can’t verify it but believe the improvised 18 holes we put together here might be the highest disc course in the world. Anyone know of one higher?