As exciting as it can be to see the weather change and a new season arrive, it’s not always easy to let the old one go. Rather than accept it might be time to move on to different sports and activities more appropriate for the conditions, we stubbornly insist on trying to get in one more ski, run, or climb. And it’s usually then that we realize– after finding ourselves in rotten or cupped snow, on muddy trail approaches, or climbing peaks with unconsolidated snow– that it’s time to call it a season.
With all of our summer races behind us, we figured we had time to sneak in just one more trip to the Sangre de Cristos. The peaks aren’t as technically challenging as they are high, and we thought that if a recent winter storm (the 1st of the season) skirted by without dumping too much snow, we might be able to tag a few more summits before winter.
We always seem to forget, or ignore, that even a little snow on loose talus slopes can be tedious, if not outright annoying. After making our way to the summit of Lakes Peak, 13,375 ft., in about 4-6″ of new snow, we decided that the summer season for Colorado summits, for us at least, is done.
It’s not a bad thing. We had a great summer. If this winter is better than last, which we’re all praying it will be, we hope to be back up on the summits in the early part of next year, but with skis. So apart from a couple of desert trips this fall, we’re happy to be switching to winter.