Saturday, June 12, 2010

RMNP - Snow and Rock - w/Pops

Well, we're back on the road again. Jason, our old man, and I left SLC Tues morning and that afternoon found ourselves in Rocky Mountain National Park under stormy skies with wavering enthusiasm for our mixed climbing objective, Dreamweaver, on Mt. Meeker. We were hoping to find ice, snow, and rock up this classic line, but 90 degree temps for the past week and pesky thunderstorms the day before threatened to ruin the whole trip. Rather than sit in the rain, we ran back down to Estes Park for some DQ, then tried to sleep a bit before our planned 3:00 AM start.

Packing was quite an ordeal since I only brought my Avalung pack but somehow managed to cram rope, rack, harness, ice screws, 2 ice tools, skis, boots, poles, sleeping bag, pad, bivy sack, puffy, rain shell, my Crazy pants, gloves, crampons, and food for 2 days. I looked like a total bag lady with stuff clipped everywhere.

The hike up into Meeker Cirque or the Mills Glacier is an easy 3 miles along a wide mellow trail. We were rewarded for our diligent alpine start with brilliant morning alpenglow.

Dreamweaver ascends to the left of the flying buttress.

Jason on one of the rock steps. Obviously, no ice had formed during the unusually warm springWhy does he have skis?

My dad getting after it

Mike D near the top of Dreamweaver

Long's Peak shrouded in clouds

We caught up to a guided party near the top. Jason was still totting around those skis. Why?

Ahhh, we found some dirty snow in the Loft. Not really a destination ski line, but it was fun with a little rappel in the middle.

JD just below the rappel

Mike D took the loft bypass to avoid the rappel as he was hiking down. That guy needs to get some skis. And we needed to be in the park about 2 weeks earlier. There would be great ski descents like Keplinger's on Long's, the Dutchman, Lambs Slide, the Notch, and more, but you'd need skills like this guy with the current lack of snow.

Dreamweaver on left, Loft with tracks on right

Pretty fun day with three generations out in the mountains. We took a look at the Flying Dutchman, but it looked like a sloppy mess so we said goodbye to the park in search of more adventure. More with Mike D to come...

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