My Travel Map

My Travel Map

26 July 2007

Quandary Peak


The Goal: Quandary Peak, one of Colorado's famous fourteeners (14,000+ ft mountain)
Some friends and I hiked/climbed this three weeks ago.


The Crew: from left to right: Jack, Cal, Maciej, Marcin, and myself


The Colorado Columbine....the state flower....absolutely beautiful...there were several massive patches all along the trail near the trailhead....unreal to see so many in one place


Love this pic...taken by Jack as are the majority of the pics here


Seeing the flowers up on this rugged mountain is just surreal.


This was on the way down....these rocks are quite loose and razor sharp...I have a fresh scar on my arm to prove it...


the trailhead is at the damn there....quite a ways down, especially scrambling over this rocky couloir.


Our group heading down from the summit.


Enjoying a well deserved lunch at the top...


As if the clouds are mimicking the mountains below them...


Cal and me on top of one of the many scrambles in the crux of the class 3 "West Ridge Route" we decided to challenge ourselves with


Another part of the crux area....on either side of us was a steep and sudden dropoff


How many people can you count going up?!? Gives a much better sense of things with people in for scale...


Theres that dropoff I was talking about earlier...


Enjoying a little break to take in the view...


Part of the view





We could not get over how green this valley was that we came up....the glacial melt works wonders!




Looking up from near the trailhead...it looks so close without any sense of scale...


A marmot: kind of like a beaver, except it lives above the treeline on mountains and does not build dams or have the defining tail. This trip was packed with wildlife...we also saw a ton of pikas...smaller, gray versions of the marmot with a distinct squeak.


Maciej posing with a super friendly mountain goat....yes folks...that is wild mountain goat.

Mt. Olympus, Utah


Mt. Olympus...overlooking Salt Lake City, this is a very popular half day hike for locals and visitors alike. Total trek is 3.1 miles with a total elevation change of 4200 ft...for those of you that understand slopes...this is quite a steep hike! I really don't think those Utah folk understand switchbacks very well...


Almost to the top...Andrew (grad student and one of my good friends from Stanford) waves to me from below.


Me signing the log book at the summit....it was kept dry and protected in the mailbox you see at the bottom right corner...quite a funny thing to find at the top of a mountain.


Andrew being pensive while enjoying the view from the top.
Andrew is quite lucky; his parents own a beautiful ski lodge in Park City, UT, just east and into the mountains from SLC. He and his family were quite generous and let myself and some other friends stay with him there during the conference; it was awesome!

Andrew and me at the saddle point. This is where we split from the rest of the group to scramble to the summit (these are not in order!)


View of some of the more rugged mountains to the south of SLC.


SLC suburbs and the Great Salt Lake from about half way up.

The Zermatt Resort, where the conference was held. I personally believe the architects took the Alpine theme a bit too far, but who am I to judge? The resort was still quite nice and located in a beautiful, round valley, surrounded on all sides by mountains...absolutely stunning place.











Dinosaur National Monument

On my recent drive to Utah for a conference, I made a little side trip to a massive, wildnerness region tucked in the northwestern corner of Colorado: Dinosaur National Monument. This canyonlands region follows two rivers that have gouged themselves deep into the surrounding plateau. The monument is named for the dinosaur fossil quarry on the Utah side of the park, and the funny thing is, on the Colorado side, which is by far the majority of the park and known as the scenic side, there are none of the prehistoric relics! Anyway, I made a nice half day trip into the park with my car, stopping at the many roadside lookouts, with their amazing views over massive canyons and valleys, and finished up the day with a hike out to this viewpoint: looking down at the junction of the Green and Yampa rivers.



Just had to throw this in there...I saw this little guy on my hike.


This is looking east down on Echo Park (the sandy area in the bottom center) and the Yampa River canyon. Echo Park sits at the junction of the two rivers; Green River and the junction cannot be seen here because of the massive Steamboat Rock blocking the view (lower left corner). The sheer size of this place and its features simply cannot be conveyed by these pictures...just think: it takes rafters 4-5 DAYS to raft from the east side of the monument to the west...that is absolutely massive.


The landscapes in this area are spectacular...almost alien at times.


The Green River is the larger of the two, so after the junction, the river keeps this name. This is it flowing west from the junction (which would be behind me in this picture)


Another view of the Yampa River canyon, Steamboat Rock, and the junction hidden behind it.


A view after a little hike from one of the many roadside stopping points.
Notice the gorge that cuts deep into the valley floor (center right).


Just a pic directly down at the rock you see in the monument


Closer to the entrance of the park...this is looking south-south-east.