Golden hour on top of Glacier Park – August 2021
Pushing personal boundaries in Glacier National Park while climbing up it's spectacular high peaks usually leads to epic moments. This one in particular was a sunset summit that me and my climbing partner, Andrew, topped out to conclude our three-summit day––and not a second too soon as these beautiful mountain goats 'posed' for a moment, took in the view, and headed on there way. Gazing into the golden rays of the setting sun we said goodbye to our temporal wild setting atop one of Glaciers most scenic summits and as ran down its ridge line we continually rejoiced and took in the moment as the sun set on the winding trail leading back to our cars.
The places that make us feel whole – July 2021
Few wild places feel like they welcome you with open arms––to me, Glacier Park is one of these places. The summit-spotted skyline of Glacier National Park is as spectacular as the first time I explored the Park more than two decades prior. Sharing this beautiful place with good friends is one of the most heart-warming feelings especially when exploring with first-timers! As I reminisce on the first time I saw the spectacular lakes, trails, waterfalls, and mountains of the areas we explored I could only wonder what my friends thought of the magnificent splendor that was a small taste of Glacier Park. The deep green of the forested valleys contrasting the Glaciated slopes of the high peaks makes Glacier one of the most memorable places I have personally explored. Calling this Park home comes with a high level of expectation for how the beautiful area should be treated by oneself–as someone who cares so deeply about Glacier I hope to set a good standard for how to treat and respect Glacier so that we can enjoy The Park for generations to come. Leave no trace principals, along with general respect for all that Glacier is requires constant remembrance of being a guest in the wild that is The Park. So get out and explore something beautiful today, responsibly :)
Beartooth Mountain Range Ski – June 2021
As the great Beartooth Mountain range came closer and closer into view, the energy from within my Toyota Corolla became amplified as me and my friends prepare for the best skiing the summer has to offer! The Beartooth Basin summer ski resort would be our final destination, and as we geared up in our t-shirts and shorts we knew it was about to be an amazing day. Gingerly stepping atop the massive cornice that guards the basin I prepared myself for the magic to happen, and with camera in hand, that's exactly what ensued. Chris Bodine, pictured right, takes no time to warm up as he throws a huge backflip to get things started! An amazing place with even more amazing people made this trip to the Beartooth's one to remember.
From the Summit of Mount Hood at Sunrise – May 2021
To some, a departure time of 12 o’clock midnight to begin climbing a mountain may seem completely bonkers but to an eager mountaineer with aspirations for a summit sunrise it seems absolutely perfect. Standing alone, the trailhead became illuminated by the stars and the great Mount Hood beckoned for my ascent. I geared up and began the assault up the frozen snow slopes, leaving the comfort and safety of the trailhead behind. As the night began to turn to morning a full moon began to illuminate the southern slopes of the great volcano lending a great deal of light to its steep upper ridges as I climbed through the night. As the climb began to steepen I traversed the great Hogsback and began climbing the prominent snow covered arete toward the bergschrund crossing that would be the crux of the climb. Cold, unwelcoming, and unforgiving are the few words a climber can come up with to describe looking down a Glacial crevasse. Once safely across the bergschrund the final snow and ice gully through the Pearly Gates came into view, opting to take the left variation I ascended the moderate ice gully packed with crystalline névé snow forming on either side to comprise an especially aesthetic climb to reach the crater rim. Emotions began flooding inside of me as the final summit crest was impeccably beautiful. Views of great Cascade mountains such as Adams, Jefferson, and St. Helens dominated the mostly flat plateau of Oregon and Washington. After 30 minutes the Western skies began burning hues of fiery reds and oranges and the first sight of sunrise began to shine on the great Columbia River, then to the incredible glaciated Northern side of Mount Hood. The 360 degree views were almost unbearably beautiful as the first light cast the most incredible shadow of the great pyramid that is Mount Hood on its eastern flanks. As I sat and admired the beautiful glaciated scenery around me I felt as if me and the mountain were one as it allowed me safe passage to it’s summit and greeted me with open arms to share this beautiful place. The incomparable feeling of sunrise atop a great cascade volcano is one of those moments in life where words truly can’t comprehend the pure feelings felt in that moment, so I won’t bother trying to explain it here, rather my photos can explain what words cannot.
Loving the Mountains – May 2021
I fell in love with the mountains, they stand as a gatekeeper between dreams and reality, a roadblock that with persistence, unknown outcomes far from what we thought possible can be achieved.
Not everyone has the access or capability to summit 8,000-meter peaks or run ultra marathons yet everyone truly can climb their own mountains and immerse themselves into a world of the unknown, a world where we can achieve what we thought to be impossible. No matter how small or your insignificant personal goals may seem to others-it’s a known fact we all have our own levels of doubt and fear that we can push through to become stronger individuals. This is how you can find yourself, this is how I found myself, thankful to be awestruck by the power and sheer beauty of the mountains.
We can't get enough of this spring Weather! – May 2021
When spring really sets in, and I mean really sets in, like full on green everywhere with blooming plants everywhere and birds chirping, you really can't appreciate the small window of the spring season here in Montana, and so we did exactly what any other member of the Southwest climbing community would do, we climbed! And we had an absolute blast doing it, pictured right is Brock Rugg, enjoying the final pitch of one of the best moderate multi-pitch trad climbs Montana has to offer. The temps finally rose to above 75 and we couldn't get enough of it!
Spring powder cannot be passed Up – April 2021
April powder must be taken advantage of. No if, ands, or buts! Rumors of 6+ inches of cold smoke powder near Big Sky had me and my friends geared up and ready to rock and roll the night before the storm. The next day, the view from the cracked windshield of the snow-covered peaks we were planning on skiing took our collective breath away. The skin in flew by as we found ourselves choosing from an array of spectacular chutes, cliffs, faces, and most of all untracked snow once we reached the basin. We couldn't help ourselves and took multiple lines before heading back to the car, and as me and my friends smiled and marveled at the great day we appreciated the increasing stability in the snowpack after a deadly year. Hi-fiving with everyone you left with at the beginning of the day is the best part about being out in the mountains!
Scratching that early-season rock climbing Itch – March 2021
Luckily for anxious climbers, South-facing walls exposed to spring sunshine are dry enough for pre-season crag days. Blake Bergerhoff, pictured right, can't get enough of this beautiful crack in Pipestone climbing area near Butte, Montana. As a group we climbed multiple routes, and explored the area for future projects! The excitement was in the air as all climbers topped out four different routes and shook the dust off, preparing for a great summer climbing season ahead. As the sun began to shade our precious wall we had to call it quits and as we took in the last of the views we couldn't help but appreciate the first sunny spring day here in Montana.
A day in the Glorious Backcountry – February 2021
Few things can truly satisfy a skier like a day touring through the beautiful mountains of Montanas backcountry. Hans Schulze, (pictured right) and I set out into Hyalite canyon on a morning fueled by a thick snowstorm that began clearing up once we entered the mountainous basin. The ski day consisted of low-angle terrain as the avalanche danger was heightened and we wanted to play it safe. The recent snow and bluebird conditions granted us an amazing day in some deep powder--the solitude of the mountains was appreciated and welcoming as we found ourselves basking in the glory of countless snow covered peaks.
Backcountry Ski Jump Session – January 2021
Whenever you get a large group of people barbecuing and hitting a ski booter in the same place, you know your in for a great day! That's exactly what me and my friends did as we took advantage of the beautiful sunny January day in the Montana Backcountry. Backflips, frontflips, sideflips, corks, spins, butters, grabs, and a plentiful amount of crashes made this session a 110% success in my book. As we all smiled watching the sun set, we couldn't help but laugh at the battlefield carnage of bomb-holes below the jump left from the great day of sending here in Montana!
Late season or early season Rock Climbing? December 2020
When temps don't drop low enough for ice to freeze, or winter weather storms seemingly pass up your home mountains, the only thing a climber could think to do to pass a beautiful Saturday was climb our local crag, Practice Rock, here in Montana. The ledges, snowy, the cracks, cold, our spirits... higher than ever! Frank Dean, pictured right, leads a classic route up the North face of some of Southwest Montanas finest granite rock. The day started and ended quicker than anticipated, due to shorter amounts of daylight, and as we left for the hike down we couldn't help but wonder if the winter season was ever on its way!
California Roadtrip Forever! – November 2020
Peering through the darkened night, we questioned whether the great Yosemite valley would be viewable at such a late hour—our answer came from the darkness in the form of a resounding ‘holy shit’. Once passing through an everlasting tunnel we were met by the incomprehensible sights of the high and mighty El Capitan-and the rest of the Yosemite Valley. The stars shone bright, and with time we adjusted to the darkness and could make out the distinct formations within the Yosemite Valley such as the stunning Cathedrals, and everyones favorite; Half Dome. As if living in a dream, we prepared our camp to the East of the Valley and tried to catch some unwarranted shut-eye, as the next days adventure included climbing in Yosemite which was at the forefront of our minds. Closing our eyes for what seemed like a second we awoke suddenly before the sunrise and began our morning at the base of El Capitan, having breakfast with nothing but sheer granite to sit back and admire. As we journeyed to the face of the El Capitan wall we knew we had to scramble up the world renown route- “The Nose” and experience what all the climbing legends had before us. After beginning the base of the route I understood how much of a feat the great climb would be and vowed to be back someday to finish it.
Red Rocks Rock Climbing – October 2020
Climbing in the Nevada desert had to be on of the most different experiences in climbing comparative to my background of climbing in the West. The sand stone proved spectacular as we warmed up with more mellow multi-pitch trad routes and worked our way up to climbing the monstrous Black Velvet peak at 13 pitches of roped up climbing. After battling with the crux chimneys of the climb we topped out and couldn't be more proud of the undertaking we pushed through out in the dry Nevada desert.
The Grand Teton – September 2021
Nothing really brings home celebrating another year around the earth than by climbing one of the US's most beautiful mountains, the Grand Teton. As we left for a monstrous single day of hiking to the Grand Teton saddle and then climbing 6-8 roped up pitches of technical rock climbing I knew it was going to be a big day. The entire day lived up to the glory that The Grand deserves. After a grueling 16-hour push we were greeted with numerous stacks of pizza and beer to wash down the serenity the beautiful climb that the Grand had taught us.
Wind River Range, Cirque of the Towers – August 2020
Day 2 - Climb Pingora
I woke up to two separate alarms, both reading 6:00 AM; it was time to get after it. The striking view of Warbonnet Peak along with the large faces of Warrior 1 and 2 were captivating. I was frozen in place studying their faces, while the the kiss of the morning sunrise warmed the icy mountain tops
A class 3 scramble to reach the base of the great peak would go smoothly as gear dangled from every loop on our harnesses, the jingling was the only sounds heard at 10,000’ feet in the waking moments of the morning. After navigating through the lower shelf we moved to the loose gully that would lead us to accessing the ridge line of the Southern Buttress of the great Pingora Peak, stands almost 12 thousand feet above sea levevl. The massive granite slab acting as a red carpet stood between us and the base of the left facing Dihedral to the beginning of the climb. The great crack system resulted in some great stemming and hand/foot jams to advance through the first 80’ pitch of the climb. The next pitch would be our last stop before the beautiful K Cracks, the stunning crack system viewable from our camp. Moving through the wide gully that reached the base of the cracks went very smoothly. I began pondering wanting to lead the Crux Pitch of the K cracks, but before I could say anything, Blake, one of my partners assured me that I would be able to send the climb and that it was mine to lead. Before I could syke myself out I answered with a confident, “Yes.” Nerves raced through every inch of my body as the massive wall stood between me and my goal, with nothing but a crack in the massive granite face to advance myself to the top. Mind racing, heart pounding I touched the crystalline wall and everything became clear; my mind left the negative thoughts below–climbing as if I was one with the mountain. Blood oozed from my knuckles from a cut in my hand as I maneuvered up the leaning crack, using friction as a foothold for the leg that wasn’t lodged in the granite. My hands moved smoothly, swimming up the granite, placing protection in sections that would be possible to hold a fall if I was to make a mistake. Once reaching the top of the pitch I looked away from the wall to the stunning landscape that captivated all 360 degrees laid out around me. A glacial tarn sat smoothly below the jagged ridgeline separating Pingora Peak from the Watchtower. it took my breath away as I stood atop the great pitch that was sent.
Once my climbing partners met me at the top of the pitch, we rejoiced with enthusiasm as we moved up the side of the mountain to scramble the last 100’ to the summit. The summit atop the broken granite blocks that make up the top of the great Pingora Peak stamding at an impressive 11,884 feet. It created a great moment of clarity as the Views of the Cirque and it’s beautiful summits, guarded by vertical faces of granite, coupled with glassy lakes sitting high alone in the alpine at the bases of these peaks standing before me, the moment felt like a dream. A sense of happiness and sadness always overwhelms me while atop mountains, on one hand the views and experience are captivated by the dramatic landscape from above, and on the other hand, the temporal feelings only can last for so long, as the goodbye retreat from the summit is always the hardest goodbye, yet the rejoice of only having the feeling and views from a summit are singular-only lastingfor a moment-possibly what makes them so special.
ROPE!! Yelled Blake, as the blue strands flew down the vertical wall in order to begin our descent off the mountain, making three long rappels to reach the base of the granite saddle that brought us to the base of the great peak we started up much earlier in the day. Once reaching camp safely we laid in the soft grass and admired the great summit we stood atop earlier in the morning.
Day 3 Climb Wolfs Head
Awakened by a cool breath of wind grazing past my face, I took in the scenery and blinked continuously until the outlines of the Cirques summits stood clear, standing above me. Our objective was the Wolf's Head, lying at the north end of the Cirque, guarded by a broken ridge line that would entail multiple “no fall” scenarios. The route was home to many dangerous points that would result in serious consequences if a mistake were to occur. We began moving through the morning dew to reach the base of Tiger Tower, a pit stop on the way to the Wolfs Head, we began our scramble up a western facing gully dividing Pingora and Tiger Tower. Loose rock and exposure woke us up immediately as I found myself traversing across a extremely exposed slab with no hand or feet holds, relying only on the friction of my hiking shoes and the rock, imminent death sitting at bay below me as the mountain face would likely claim me if a fall would occur. Moving through the hairy section we regained the gully, picking and choosing our route carefully as we traversed the face and reached the summit of Tiger Tower as the sun began to ignite the ridge line of Wolfs Head. Rappelling off Tiger tower and following the connected ridgeline we racked up and switched to the climbing shoes before climbing the majestic vertical shooting ridgeline. To gain the base of the mountain, a pizza-box-wide ramp at 30 degrees must be passed, nothing but exposure on each of our sides while crossing (the ground sat 1,000’+ below). Rhythmic breathing took hold as the ramp was passed. Pitch one and two gained the large NE ridgeline as we moved through two beautiful crack systems to reach the top of the ridge line and the real climb–Maneuvering up, over, and through the massive granite tower blocks between us and the Summit of Wolfs Head. Exposed climbing would be an understatement to describe this route, as we found ourselves on many delicate hand and foot traverses along the ridge. Pitch three was an exposed down climb to a ledge that would lead to a massive offwidthy’ break in the mountain, only pleasant if you were skinny! - As sideways was the only way you could even think of fitting through the route, as I grunted through the claustrophobic crack in the granite, I began feeling as if I was rebirthed by the earth once I was crawling out of the tight squeeze. The next three pitches were the best varied climbing terrain an adventurer could dream of. Starting with a crack spanning 50’ across a blank face with no hand holds, only a toe-deep crack that you must shimmy across, depending only on the tips of your toes. Halfway across the line in the granite I felt the intense exposure of the vertical face above and below me but didn’t dare look down. Instead I inched my way across the face and reached the ledge leading to the next pitch. The pitch started with a unique layback against a crack, followed by the opposite of the previous pitch-a hand traverse with no footholds, moving around a bulge in the ridgeline (with the same amount of exposure). With all the hard climbing behind us we took in the less-seen views of the completely vertical north side of wolfs head as we led a final ledged traverse pitch. The “crown” of a summit block was the final scramble to the incredible summit of Wolfs Head, standing proudly at 12,165 Feet. Sitting atop its windy summit with only jaw dropping views to occupy our minds as we sat in silence. A sense of clarity is felt atop a beautiful summit, carrying the feelings of appreciation to have been lucky enough to have rejoiced atop such a spectacular high point.
Rappelling off the backside of the mountain, we embraced the whipping wind as we moved smoothly over the extreme terrain–after 6 separate rappels we reached the top of the col separating the neighboring Overhanging Tower, and the tail of Wolfs Head. Moving through the loose terrain and living-room-sized boulders we eventually descended past the lake and made our way back to our camp in the meadow below. Continually taking in the views of the spectacular mountain summits we had the privilege to sit atop. As we celebrated with dates, pineapple, and couscous we sat under the stars, falling into a deep sleep below the summers best meteor shower. Life doesn’t get any better than enjoying the sights of mountains you have stood atop, illuminated by the stars-simplicity in its finest form, just the way I like it.
Absaroka Range – July 2020
Bracing the 5 am Absaroka Mountain Range Alpine chill we emerged from our tent, currently sitting high atop a cliff with the beautiful Elbow Lake sitting below–we observed the great granite spire of Mount Cowen we would be attempting to climb this morning. As we headed North towards the base of the summit we hopped through the large boulder field and infinite stream crossings to reach the substantial granite scree field that would take us to the basin below Mount Cowen. Once in the basin, two majestically laid tarns sat high above the alpine granite cliffs surrounding them. As the cirque became illuminated with morning light, the jagged granite points lit up as the magnificence of Mount Cowen showed in the shadows illuminating the opposing peaks we looked across and admired. The scramble up the South face felt as though me and my partner, Frank, moved as one; flowing up the steep face, electing to take the most aesthetic line possible to reach the beginning of the technical climbing. Once attached at both ends to the blue rope that would protect our lives we began choosing our way up the broken granite blocks that encompassed the ridgeline of Mount Cowen, placing gear but relying mostly on the confidence in ourselves as we navigated the exposed face. Once the summit ridge was reached a number of false summit ‘fins’ were navigated to reach the crux of the climb-a layback dihedral that would grant us access to the majestic summit block. The climbing went smoothly and the summit of the spectacular Mount Cowen (11,206’) was breathtaking as me and my climbing partner rejoiced with energetic enthusiasm to be in such a breathtaking moment! High jagged peaks stood near as tooth-like spires stood in the distance, while the beautiful tarns and Elbow Lake lay solemnly below the base of the granite masterpiece we stood atop. The moment seemed only to last an instant, but as I took my last 360 degree view of the summit and said goodbye to the beautiful instant we were in I embraced it and grinned as I rappelled off summit to reach more manageable terrain below. As we descended the loose gully back to the snow and shimmering tarns we looked back to take in the views of the amazing summit we stood atop hours before, thankful to the mountain for safe passage and an incredible experience. Returning to camp and packing up we took in the last views of the striking area we had the privilege to explore-as we descended the trail the weight on our backs seemed miniscule, as the accomplishment of completing our objective made us feel weightless in the afternoon heat.
Glacier National Park – July 2020
The heat was hot enough to smell as the igneous shale rock clambered beneath us as we moved through the Glacial Snow and rock field in our ski boots. We had set out earlier in the day, skis clinging to our backpacks, in search of summer ski turns. Traveling through Glacier National Park, our hidden ski lines were harbored deep within the Parks backcountry, our secret destination for summer corn snow. Massive jutting peaks stood guard, towering over us as we set up base camp in a Glacial Cirque with a gentle pond at its base. Taking in the 360 views of awe-inspiring mountains throughout Glacier Park we began picking and choosing of the snow filled lines that sat above us on cliff bands-guarded from the summer sun. Once the sun began to turn golden we took turns throwing backflips off a perfectly constructed jump-With each leap of faith we found ourselves totally lost in the moments of peace and focus as we enjoyed the setting sun over our dream of a jump. As the sun set on a spectacular day full of smiles and gratitude, we took in the snow covered peaks that surrounded us, almost closterphobicly, as they stood at every angle around us.
Lost River Range – May 2020
Attempting my first ever snow-capped 12,000’ Summit in the Lost River Range was the Memorial Day weekend objective. Steel butterflies moved loosely from within my stomach as we approached, and finally got our first look at Mount Donaldson-a massive rock amphitheater, with a summit block that loomed over us from far below the snow-covered cirque we sat below. The level of uncertainty and nervousness built from within as we trudged forward through the day. The uncertainty of pushing through my limits scared me, yet simultaneously propelled me forward throughout the climb, pushing myself to my absolute boundaries of what I thought possible. Upon reaching the summit my mind raced, my boundaries had been pushed to their limits, I had achieved the unachievable, taking what I thought was possible for myself and crushing the uncertainty that started up the mountain with me earlier that day.
Glacier National Park – June 2020
From the beginning, my love of the mountains has always been centered around Glacier National Park, and how could it not? Rolling valleys cut by rushing streams, to the highest reaches of shale summits guarded by walls up to 3,000' high, Glacier is a climbers paradise. I am constantly reminded of how every summit has a different meaning and beauty. As I set out from Marias Pass, an area I hadn't previously explored, my ambitions were high as I eyed the East face of the summit that sat before me. Traveling through the beautifully cut Continental Divide Trail, I reached a point where I had to say goodbye to the trail and hello to the dense brush separating me from the base of the 8,600'+ Mountain. Upon reaching the scree tongue, I tied my laces tight to traverse and ascend the shale face. Stemming, moving, and grooving up the walls I fell into a melodic groove making my way up the face. After a somewhat dicey traverse to the Ridgeline and I began moving quickly towards the summit cairn which was finally in view. As I took in the Bob Ross-type painting that lay before my eyes, I appreciated the solidarity and hard work it took to reach this point. As my eyes fell east, the Ridgeline from the bottom of the saddle cut perfectly up to a second Summit that would focus the remaining energy I had left. Cutting below large faces and steep exposures, I made my way through multiple false summits before reaching the summit of Summit Mountain-- a clever name, right? The summit views completely took my breath away, in an effort to try and see as much as possible, I made myself comfortable and enjoyed a long lunch break atop the astounding peak. It was such a moving landscape that felt close enough that you could touch it, even when the nearest mountain was at least 10 miles away. Saying goodbye is always the hardest part. Dismal weather headed in my direction and forced me off the summit, down the scree field, and ultimately back to the trail where I finally looked back North and admired the majestic summits I had stoop atop earlier in the day.
Lake Koocanusa – June 2020
Traveling towards Canada from Northwest Montana there lies a stunning reservoir, stretching for tens of miles through the alpine beauty of Montana. On this picturesque lake holds a local crag, sporting some of the best single pitch, sport, and trad climbing for hundreds of miles. Upon reaching the area, the number of routes astonished me; I felt like a kid in a candy store picking and choosing the first route to advance. Wonderfully bolted routes atop a high platform would take our focus for the morning, as we stemmed and crimped our way up the granite walls. Moving towards some smooth crack climbing, we found ourselves greeted by our worst enemy-- rain. We climbed as long as it made sense before we retreated from the downpour to regroup. A water break and lunch would prove to be the perfect amount of time before the sun would come back and dry all the walls to perfect condition. We eyed the classic route from the area, “A Room With a View” and set out to enter this room and enjoy the beautifully overhanging 40’ route right above the reservoir. Multiple car-sized overhangs stood between me and the top chains, as the movements began linking perfectly together I flowed up the beautiful route until I reached the bedroom-sized rock block where the route became very exciting. Taking in the views and gaining my breath I reached with all my might to catch the corner overhanging the route, and with a deep breath I was in the unknown completely exposed with nothing below me for 40 feet, I readjusted my feet and knew I had just completed the hardest part of the beautiful route. Followed by my close friends we were ecstatic to all have sent the wonderful route. So we did what any other climber would do and hit the rope swing on the way out, and enjoyed the warm summer water greeting our likeminded happiness for the days sends.
Tobacco Root Mountains – May 2020
If you have ever traveled to Yellowstone National Park there is a chance you have seen the beautiful Tobacco Root Mountains, and the small town sign of “Pony, MT”-- both I would come to find out, are a great hidden gem in the Southwest Montana Region of the Rockies. Traveling through Pony we were greeted by a picturesque mountain meadow, which would serve as the trailhead for our approach to a summit Ski of the range highpoint of Hollowtop Mountain, or so we thought. As we traveled upwards to the base of the Mountain a crystal clear alpine lake with a dark shade of blue greeted us as we finally had a view of the beautiful 10,000’ Peaks in the area. With inclement weather on the horizon, we had to make a choice, force the summit and abandon hopes of skiing, or ski a more southwardly high point that looked extremely promising. So we went with option B, as we had carried our skis all the way to the lake already. Armed with tenacity for type 2 fun, we bushwhacked our way through the downed forest until we finally reached the snowpack and began the skinning portion of our day. A massive rock cirque surrounded us, chock-full of summer lines begging to be skied. We picked the most hourglass-shaped chute and began the boot pack towards the top. As we crested over the ridgeline the surrounding drainages came into view-and they literally took my breath away, that and the 30 mph winds. Now the fun part would begin-- we strapped our boots tight and began to make the steep descent through the chute and began opening up our turns once the apron was reached, as we skied back to our shoes nothing but happiness and smiles occupied our minds as we made our way back to the alpine lake. The soft summer afternoon proved to be a delightful walk back to the trailhead. A wonderful gem of an adventure capped off with a Beer at the world-famous Pony Bar made this adventure perfect.