(Last Updated On: July 23, 2009)
Somehow, a friend of mine found some old photos that were taken my last summer before graduating from CU in the fall of 1996. I was working at the Safeway in Boulder and one of the grocery baggers, named Steve, was in Boulder for the summer, visiting from his school: Syracuse. Steve and I got to talking and ended up climbing a number of fourteeners that summer while I was on my 14er climbing mission, including Little Bear, Blanca, Ellingwood, and Pyramid. The photo that really got my attention was one from a climb of Democrat’s NW ridge, which was followed by a ski descent (for me, at least) of the North Face. The NW ridge is a highly recommended scramble route between Democrat and Traver, complete with a crawl-through “keyhole” from the Montgomery trailhead. The reason I wanted to ski this side of Democrat was that Dawson’s book said “to date, no ski descents have been recorded”. It turns out, of course, that the North Face of Democrat had been skied long before I did it in 1996. Plus, I had to ski one of the couloirs W of the ones that leave the exact summit, several hundred feet below the summit, so it is far from the most classic or aesthetic line. It does have a mining cabin right at the top, though, which is probably what I remember most. The photo really says it all, though:
How huge are those skis? If I remember right, they’re only 200’s. Wow, things have come a long way, haven’t they? On the other hand, so many things haven’t changed- mostly the fact that I’m still climbing peaks and putting tracks down them. I wouldn’t mind having some of that hair back, though.
Anyone who knows Steve Buer, who took the photo, send him the link to this entry. It would be cool to see how he’s doing…