Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Humphreys Peak Trail

I think I could spend a solid decade exploring Northern Arizona and still not be satisfied. Unfortunately it's located at a much higher elevation than Tucson(about 3000-4000ft higher), so I've been trying to get in a few trips before it gets too cold for my already thinned Tucson blood. This past weekend I decided to try to slip in an attempt at the highest peak in AZ, Humphreys Peak (12,600+ft) before I needed any gear that includes metal spikes of any kind. As luck would have it, it snowed on the mountain 4-6 inches the day before I was able to get up north. After receiving mixed advice from the guys at Babbit's, I decided it was worth a shot. I hit slush within the first half mile of this 4.8 mile one way trek. It only got whiter from there. Not expecting so much snow, I was only mildly prepared. I managed to huff it up to 11,800 ft, a saddle 3 peaks over from the big show, at which point the 30 mph winds and teen to 20's temperature made me turn around. Oh yeah and the fact that visibility was around 20 yards, it didn't seem worth the view. And anyway, I was already making tentative plans on returning on either skies or snowshoes in a few months.

On a side note: these photos were shot with a lower end point and shoot, so if there is some quality missing compared to my normal photos that is why. The hike was too beautiful not to share photos of.

Tyler Gates
The Good Life Photography

Monday, October 4, 2010

Garden of the Gods Climbing

There has been some serious lacking of climbing in my life recently. And as I was laying in my bed thinking about this, I realized that I never posted photos from climbing in the Garden of the Gods.

I knew there was some good climbing in Colorado, and I didn't know how to contact any of the other bike mechanics I was going to be there with. Fortunately, I was lucky enough to find an awesome climber, named Patrick, in the Colorado Springs area on Mountain Project. I met up with Patrick twice while staying in the Springs, and both times we climbed in Garden of the Gods, which is really an obvious choice for any sort of geophile. If you haven't seen my previous post from the Garden of the Gods, get there. One night we met up with two other climbers, and spent the last hours of sunlight bouldering. The second time we went out for the day, on a crazy busy weekend. I've never told some many people how I got the rope up there. We climbed on a pair of 35 foot spires that I could belay from a sidewalk, it was an interesting experience to say the least. On the opposite of the spectrum, we hiked a mere 100 yards from the road and climbed an adventurous 3 pitch climb, and I felt like I was in the Cochise back country. The place continued to amaze me, and I'd go back in a heart beat, but I'd probably aim for a weekday.

Tyler Gates
Good Life Photography