Sunday, July 20, 2008

Random sites

http://www.youtube.com/user/meepmeepmeepow

Holy shit! Beaker and ode to joy - check it out!

http://www.mr-lee-catcam.de/pe_cc_u.htm

cat cam - literally. Our modern world allows us to know the movements of the cats!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Clumsy on the snow

this is a video of me descending Snowmass and not in a very stable way...
video

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Sloth

My audience may be thinking, given the title of this post, that I am going to talk about the sloth I feel in general. Au contraire! I want to share the joy that is the sloth!


These creatures are fascinating for many reasons but one reason is that they poop once a week! I highly recommend the David Attenborough series "the Life of Mammals." In that series, there was a sloth segment that showed David next to a sloth climbing down a tree...well, you can see for yourself below. The part to which I'm referring is at about 1 min 15 sec but the whole thing about the sloth is quite interesting.






For interesting sloth facts check out: http://www.brazilianfauna.com/sloth.php


Monday, July 14, 2008

Castle Peak and Crunchy Crackers shaped like bunnies

Alright, I've been on the computer for the past 90 minutes with the intention of getting this post done. Instead I've looked at the summer movie release schedule and watched trailers (the Cohen brothers have a new film coming out!) and lurked about. And then I lurked about some more - 135 minutes later...

This past weekend Sandy and I hiked Castle Peak (14,265') and Conundrum Peak (14,060'). Since our 1994 station wagon is equipped only for flat surfaced driving, it was a fairly long hike - 12 miles (give or take). Our group was the first to start and the last to finish because of the 4wd access. In fact, a party of 3 summited on Castle just after us and said "Thank goodness for 4wd! That only took 2 hours [to summit]." Without 4wd access and with a few long stops (you've got to look around!), it took us about 4 hours to summit.

Anyway, it was a really fun hike. We did have a beer too many the night before but after about an hour and a half and a double espresso love GU, I felt great - esp. once off the 4wd road. After that, there was just a bit of snow until reaching the "old standard route" - apparently the new standard route is to climb straight up a snow field to the saddle between Castle and Conundrum (we descended this though).

Here's me on the second patch of snow (I'm kind of a speck in the center).


After the snowfield we followed a trail carved into the side of a slope and ascended the ridge to the summit of Castle. If you can make it out, below is a picture that shows the trail starting at the bottom left edge of the photo and leading up to the ridge.

Sandy and I hiked with our good friends Lisa and Tony - see the four of us below on the summit of Castle.After Castle we descended the ridge to the saddle and hiked to Conundrum. In the photo below the trail down and back up can be seen.


Below is me and Tony just after getting to the summit - breathless.Here's a view looking back at Castle Peak from the summit of Conundrum.
We descended the snowfield in the picture below - it's the one that is coming out of the left center of the photo - a line nearly down to the wee, brilliant blue lake can be seen.

Below is a view from the middle of the descent looking back up at the saddle.

So, there you have it, the Castle-Conundrum weekend.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Cheddar bunnies


This is a preview of a post to come soon! I took my little serving of these cheddary gems with me on a trip this weekend. In fact, these little salty bunnies are always with me on these kinds of trips.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Terry Gross is way cool


I am not kidding here - I would like to know Terry Gross. I feel like I'd learn something about myself, reach some hidden, special place if she interviewed me. I mean her interviews rock! and all she does is ask...

I'm not going to go on and on about Terry. If you haven't heard her show, then get with it. Check out her podcast or listen via NPR.org.

What I am going to do is describe something that I imagine Terry never experiences: lack of motivation. This is sacrilege to say but I am only really motivated at work lately. When I get home I just don't know what to do with myself. Well, that's not quite true. I don't really feel like doing anything. I'm not depressed (trust me) but just sort of...it's like this, my brain is like a staticky tv (you know, how the tv used to get past midnight when there were only 10 channels).

Soooo, ok this is entry #2 and the neurotic inside is already stealing the show! Stay tuned - the neurotic inside is never far.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

This had to happen

It was only a matter of time before I started consuming free time with some of my own self-centered blathering for people googling me to find. Well, here it is. This privileged American life consists of mostly work as a transit planner at RTD. The rest is hiking, knitting, reading HOA emails and other white person activities (e.g. seeing 'films').

The interesting thing this week: climbing Snowmass Mountain (14,092 feet) with the best hiking partner ever, Sandy. He shares his water, kicks steps in the snow, makes yummy camp food, carries the really heavy stuff and is supportive when I start whining at hour 8.


We hiked to Snowmass Lake, which was a really scenic 8 mile hike that included crossing a high creek via the "log jam." We made it across without getting wet.


The next morning at 6:00 am we set out for the summit. From the lake it is a 5 mile round trip hike. Here is a photo from the lake of Hagerman Peak with alpenglow.

This 5 mile hike took us 8 1/2 hours. After traveling around the lake (no trail due to snow), we pretty much went straight up the gully on the right - it was really steep. Below is a picture of Sandy in the gully.


After the gully, it was a journey up the snow field that got very steep as we approached the ridge to the summit.


The ridge to the summit was a fun, but slightly scary, bit of rock scrambling - and finally the summit!



Then we started the descent. The down climbing from the summit ridge back to the snow field was surprisingly fun.

We didn't see much wildlife on this trip in general but we did see the expected quantities of marmots, including this one that was very curious about us as we descended the summit ridge.

I am actually pretty excited about actually tackling this snow climbing business. It had loomed large in my head as a scary endeavor but with the crampons, ice axe and a bit of coaching from Sandy, it doesn't seem scary (most of the time). Here is me below, very happy to be on the way down.



After eating and napping (I napped, Sandy shuffled about camp doing various things), we spent the evening lakeside relaxing on a rock and taking in the view. Let me reiterate my feelings of privilege in life.



The 8 mile hike out was loooooong. We did however, spot a few interesting things:

Fungus!

I haven't looked it up properly but this one reminds me of the beefsteak morel we saw a few years ago:


Not quite sure what exactly this is but it was very small and quite bright.