(Last Updated On: May 28, 2014)
Some of you who know Frank and I know our story. We met on the Internet. No, it wasn’t through some Match.com or other dating website. We met on the TGR skiing forums. It was spring, 2006 and I had just come up with the idea that I wanted to ski all of Coloraodo’s 14ers. I had a couple of partners that could help me in achieving this goal. But, I needed more. Frank had just skied the Landry line on Pyramid- which records indicate his group was likely the 3rd ever to ski that line. If he was capable of skiing Pyramid, Frank was probably capable of skiing the rest of the fourteeners. So, I cyber-stalked him. Okay, not really. But, sort of 🙂
Long-story-short, Frank and I met over that Memorial Day weekend and we skied Castle Peak together along with a couple other dear friends of mine. After that weekend, I knew I had another solid partner. What I didn’t know, was that I had a partner for life! In fact, even though Frank and I were married in June, 2011, we still consider Memorial Day weekend to be our actual anniversary- and we celebrate it every year.
Anyway, enough of the back-story. Here’s a recount of our Castle Peak outing – something we have not yet published on this blog.
Frank and I had met up earlier and we drove together to meet up with our friends who were already camping up Castle Creek road. By the time we drove up the road, night had fallen, and finding our friends was difficult. Eventually, they actually found us. Dave drove his truck down the road, knowing we were probably on our way.
We woke early the next morning. It was still dark. I hated it… and I still hate early mornings now. But, sometimes it’s worth it – especially when you get sunrise treats like this.
We made our way up towards Montezuma Basin: Dave, Mark, Nate, Frank and I.
Dave enjoying the morning as we paused for a break.
We ascended out of the basin to gain the northeast ridge where we found many walls of loose rock to scramble over.
Mark and Frank approaching the summit.
Me on the ridge climb also near the summit.
The summit had a little snow left 🙂 Mark.
From the summit, the views were amazing. A look at the Condunrum Couloir
The Bells, Capitol, and Pyramid are all shown in this picture, along with many other magnificent Elk Mountain peaks!
Although often easier to approach from the Aspen-side, Castle is really just a stone’s throw away from Crested Butte. Here is the north side of Teocalli, Whetstone, and the East River Valley that harbors the town Crested Butte.
A closer look at Pyramid and Capitol looming behind.
We skied the classic East Face of Castle Peak, which was in excellent form. Mark.
The crew paused for a photo: Nate, Frank, Me, Mark.
Castle Peak was only the third fourteener I’d ever skied, following after Princeton and Torreys. But, after skiing its East Face, I knew this fourteener project I had in mind was going to be fun. The East Face, to this day, remains one of my most favorite lines. Frank and I have talked about going back and skiing it again, but we have yet to do so.
Later that weekend, we found ourselves in Crested Butte. And I thought to myself… “Hmmm, I could live here someday.”