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When Dreams become Goals.

Have an interesting or epic climbing story? Post it here.
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When Dreams become Goals.

Postby EZSide » Sun Apr 24, 2011 4:14 pm

This is a Trip Report which does not qualify to be with the Climbing TR’s – yet should be written. Those of you who reside in CO may wish to tune to another station now, as you may not be able to relate to not having mountains in your backyard.

************

In December my wife and I decided that ski tickets for our sons would make good Christmas presents. With a visit to the A-Basin website a trip west was born. The kids were ready to ski, and I started to dream of a climb as well. After considering what I thought would work, La Plata was considered for a first objective. We had performed well in August on Quandary and Elbert, we had a glimpse of winter on Quandary in April 2010, and we are well-versed in cold weather/snow outings in WI. Secondary objectives were also considered and studied.

January through April brought careful consideration of choices and schedules. It also brought snowshoe outings with backpacks, miles of walking in the snow with new-to-me boots leading to jogging then running – I’ve never run in my life! A few weekends back I ran 11 miles to meet my family for lunch – something which I’m a bit proud of. The weeks also brought the occasional visit to the local stairs to check progress and condition. The workouts shed a few more pounds, and I believe I’m in the best shape of my life right now. My sons are both swimmers, and special workouts consisted of an occasional snowshoe outing during a very generous, snowy WI winter. I’m sure many people didn’t understand why we would ‘trek’ in snowshoes across the tops of the snowplow piles!

In addition to the physical workouts, the education included all I could do to study snow conditions (without being there) and watching weather, more closely as the trip approached. The initial weather forecast showed a couple rounds of snow, active with some breaks. The active forecast would hold true.

Last Friday (04/15) the snowshoes gear and clothes were all stuffed in the car, and we were ready to head for our Silverthorne hotel base. A final pass through our barn would reveal a dead purebred Hereford bull calf which was healthy just hours before. No big deal for a real farm or ranch. We have a hobby farm and this is our only calf this spring. Sacrifice or omen – the shock of having to haul out our only calf literally just before going down the driveway rode with us all the way west.

Sunday found us enjoying a fantastic day at A-Basin. We were already starting to stretch our limits of ability, and the older son was enjoying his first Mountain skiing. Monday brought snow, and another day at A-Basin, though we felt like needing a day of rest. The forecast was for snow, wind and snow, with perhaps a break somewhere Wednesday night or Thursday. Tuesday found us having a blast in fresh snow at Loveland.
JBStephLoveland.jpg
The boys at Loveland
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To top it off a kind Lady gave us a 2-for-1 coupon from a Shell station in Buena Vista which made the day of skiing a huge value.

Each day the forecast was uncertain enough that we - as a group - were not willing to rest and wait for a window to climb. By Tuesday I was starting to accept that my priorities were perhaps not the group priorities. And by Tuesday night it was clear we blew it, as Wednesday would be the best weather window and we - as a group - had to rest a day after three days of intense-for-us skiing. Wednesday we hit the Shell Station to fuel up for a day of trailhead investigation and another 2-fer coupon. The drive over to Minturn and starting down 24 made me realize La Plata was simply not going to happen. Not based from Silverthorne with snowy weather moving though frequently.

We returned and went to Mayflower Gulch where we debated about a snowshoe outing on our day off, settling for a beautiful outing to the Boston Mine ruins and treating ourselves to the views in the Tenmile range including Atlantic and Fletcher.
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Me at Boston Mine - Mayflower Gulch
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A number of other stops lead us to a drive up US 40 to see what Berthoud Pass was all about. As the weather starts to close in again, I’m accepting that the trip will be best with another ski day and no summits. It was a group decision that made sense and didn’t involve much regret as we skied Thursday in more fresh powder at Loveland. The views from The Ridge were fantastic though I struggled to deal with the fact that I rode the lift to see them. We did have a GREAT time skiing, with all of us taking a final top to bottom run to wrap up our Colorado trip. Friday found us eastbound on I-70, I-76, I-80 and beyond, home in time to meet musical commitments for Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday.

And so a CO trip came and went with no summit. Optimizing the time meant not even getting close. Perhaps with a couple extra days? I would not consider giving up Holy Saturday / Easter Sunday Choir & Brass roles at our church, St. Mary's. It was a GREAT time and we made the best of our vacation. Should I have picked another goal? It would not have mattered, as even the least of goals would have fallen victim to weather which was ideally suited to the primary purpose of the trip – to ski.

Yet with it a dream is being stuffed back from whence it came. How could I have planned so seriously yet not recognized how fragile this plan was? Is it dead? Will I return to climb something again? Without certain plans – who knows. I’m at a stage of life where my dreams become goals very selectively.

And so I’ll bide time with plans for fishing or camping in WI. I’ll read trip reports and wonder if I’ll ever be back. I’ll watch for chances to hone skills which may be useful wherever, whenever. Camping and other outings in any weather. Try to keep myself in ever-improving shape. Perhaps even dream of CO again.

Thanks a ton to all that offer input to this wonderful resource called 14ers.
"There are times when the most complicated actions are suddenly summed up, distilled, and strike you with illuminating clarity" - Maurice Herzog

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Re: When Dreams become Goals.

Postby Wishiker » Sun Apr 24, 2011 5:59 pm

Right on Port. Its crazy. I was born in Port and have lived in the Eau Claire area all my life. I spend my months away from the mountains dreaming about them. Crazy thing is it just keeps growing, and I love it. It was this site that helped me with my plans for my first mountain ever. (Holy Cross) I got my butt kicked and have been in love since then. Keep dreaming, I know I am. Its these "crazy" dreams I have that have allowed me to experience some of the most amazing moments in my life to date. Thank you for the post EZside. Thank you Mr. Bill for this wonderful site. And thank everyone one of the 14er members that have been so cool to us out of state dreamers. Take care all. Climb on!

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Re: When Dreams become Goals.

Postby Mountainspirit » Mon Apr 25, 2011 1:20 pm

Dreams and/or goals never have to die. But, proper planning is important. Might I suggest driving out for a long weekend (though it sounds insane, I did it when I lived in Chicago - with two drivers. You have three or four). Nevertheless, early - mid September is a great time to bag a peak or two. If you want snow figured into the mix, come in June - early July.

Seems to me you came out here with the most important piece of gear you could possess - your good sense. Safety is and always should be paramount, and you utilized this - good work! =D>
"I sang out from a mountain top, out to the valley down below
Because my cup doth overflow
With the beauty of the days gone by." - Van Morrison

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Re: When Dreams become Goals.

Postby MountainHiker » Mon Apr 25, 2011 3:25 pm

You came out to Colorado and got in some ski days at A Basin & Loveland, and it wouldn’t stop snowing! You’re not going to get a lot of sympathy on that one! But seriously, even for those of us that live here, catching a weather window in the winter can be a challenge. It’s best not to tempt fate with winter storms in the Rockies.
Red, Rugged, and Rotten: The Elk Range - Borneman & Lampert

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Re: When Dreams become Goals.

Postby EZSide » Tue Apr 26, 2011 4:28 am

MountainHiker wrote:You came out to Colorado and got in some ski days at A Basin & Loveland, and it wouldn’t stop snowing! You’re not going to get a lot of sympathy on that one!


Yup. Already got perspective thinking about all the great runs. Unloaded the unused gear. Its not going back to E-Bay.... Glad to have the MSR Lightning Ascents and will work on my own additional flotation for them. (I've made many pairs of wood frame snowshoes.)

After a few days, I'm starting to turn over the possibilities. There are just no visible, definite plans yet. Still have Challenger / KC plans in the hopper from last year's August trip. Have an older brother who is now asking about reaching some summit somewhere before he is 60. The younger swimmer son wants to make the Zones in Kansas in August - 1/2 way there. Who knows.
"There are times when the most complicated actions are suddenly summed up, distilled, and strike you with illuminating clarity" - Maurice Herzog

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Re: When Dreams become Goals.

Postby EZSide » Tue Apr 26, 2011 7:13 am

Mountainspirit wrote:Dreams and/or goals never have to die. But, proper planning is important. Might I suggest driving out for a long weekend (though it sounds insane, I did it when I lived in Chicago - with two drivers. You have three or four). Nevertheless, early - mid September is a great time to bag a peak or two. If you want snow figured into the mix, come in June - early July.

Seems to me you came out here with the most important piece of gear you could possess - your good sense. Safety is and always should be paramount, and you utilized this - good work! =D>


Its about 1150 miles - we knock it out in about 18 hours. Its been my observation that I'm at my optimum on day 3 or beyond, and that is a consideration.

I know I want a snow climb someday. I love those (rare in WI) conditions where you can go anywhere on the snow. That May - July time zone just seems to be busy, so it may not be soon.

It seems that CO trips are like Dogs ... once once passes the only answer is to look for another ... BTW, the ice axes reclaimed their residence of honor in the cabinet. Still need a home for the boots and crampons ....

Thanks.
"There are times when the most complicated actions are suddenly summed up, distilled, and strike you with illuminating clarity" - Maurice Herzog

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Re: When Dreams become Goals.

Postby Gene913 » Fri May 06, 2011 5:01 am

Navigator Duck would be proud. Your post could be an excerpt from John Eldredge's "Wild at Heart." Thanks for sharing a great adventure story.
"If you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, and you say to this mountain, 'move from here to there,' it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you." Matthew 17:21

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