View from the summit of Parkview Mountain (elev. 12,296') near Willow Creek Pass, Colorado. Views of North Park, the Medicine Bow Mountains, Never Summer Mountains, Front Range, Gore Range, & Flat Tops. This was taken from atop the historic lookout tower built in 1916 out of cement & I was almost blown off the top by fierce snow pellets while taking this.
This was one of my first mountains I had climbed in the Rocky Mountains back on January 30, 2010. I had gotten out of a relationship w/ someone & as a method of curbing myself out of the heartbreak I decided to start doing winter ascents in the Rockies. I had a rental car (a blue chevy cobalt from Laramie, Wyoming) & parked at Willow Creek Pass, then in tennis shoes & blue jeans, postholed my way through five-feet of loose snow up nearly 3,000 feet to the top in 3.5 miles, completely soaked & miserable, but w/ one towel in my backpack.
Because I kept moving, I avoided frostbite. I took a dangerous direct beeline route up an avalanche scar which took me to the top of the summit ridge at a false summit, encountering hard compacted snow-drifts (sastruga) & bare ground to which I was able to reach the true top pretty effortlessly, reclining at this fire lookout w/ two packs of dried chicken-flavored Ramen noodles. At the false summit, I found a gnarled hiking stick that I used in future climbs until I lost it on my Whistler Mountain climb in the North Cascades in August 2011. I had named the stick "Parkview" which had greatly aided in my descent down the avalanche chute. Calmest day you could ever ask for on the top, 20*F it topped out at & not a bit of wind whatsoever w/ crisp views north to the Snowy Range in Wyoming & as far south as the Maroon Bells area.
That trip took 11 hours & I got back just after sunset being a miserable mess & I ended up driving down towards Granby to car camp in the teen-degree weather below Guanella Pass & near to St. Marys townsite, Colorado.
This time I reclimbed this peak as a fun memory, luckily finding an old skiers trail along the Continental Divide Trail, the compacted snow made the ascent easier, though it was beyond windy at the top in this panorama & the sun was a bit further down on the horizon. I however had more protective clothing & climbed through the same postholing conditions, this time I got seldom-soaked - the peak remains one of my favorites to climb today as this area is still rural & picturesque for the state, though perhaps one day I'll strive for a summer ascent.
The United States is one of the most diverse countries on earth, jam packed full of amazing sights from St. Patrick's cathedral in New York to Mount Hollywood California.The Northeast region is where it all started. Thirteen British colonies fought the American Revolution from here and won their independence in the first successful colonial rebellion in history. Take a look at these rolling hills carpeted with foliage along the Hudson river here, north of New York City.The American south is known for its polite people and slow pace of life. Probably they move slowly because it's so hot. Southerners tend not to trust people from "up north" because they talk too fast. Here's a cemetery in Georgia where you can find graves of soldiers from the Civil War.The West Coast is sort of like another country that exists to make the east coast jealous. California is full of nothing but grizzly old miners digging for gold, a few gangster rappers, and then actors. That is to say, the West Coast functions as the imagination of the US, like a weird little brother who teases everybody then gets famous for making freaky art.The central part of the country is flat farmland all the way over to the Rocky Mountains. Up in the northwest corner you can find creative people in places like Portland and Seattle, along with awesome snowboarding and good beer. Text by Steve Smith.