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2013 Spring Gathering...

Need a climbing partner? Trying to form a hiking group for an outing?
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2013 Spring Gathering...

Postby SurfNTurf » Tue Mar 26, 2013 1:41 pm

...will be held MAY 11-12! Yeah, Sunday is Mother's Day, but that weekend pulled in 46 percent of the vote. I hope those of you with obligations can at least make it for Saturday.

The clear winner in the location poll was CASTLE/CONUNDRUM with 45 percent of the vote. We'll go forward with that for now, but if weather, snowpack or gate closures become an issue as the date gets near, we'll shift to the second-place finisher in the polls: Shavano/Tabeguache (24 percent).

The difficulty of Castle/Conundrum will depend on how much snow we get in the next 1.5 months. I'd advise knowing how to use an ice ax at the very least and being open to easier routes if you're a beginner and the conditions look bad. Or, hell, you don't even have to climb anything! The Gatherings are more about socializing and having a good time. If you want to attend and aren't sure you're up for a snow climb, simply bring extra beer to get you through a day of lounging in camp. Or, if you feel like parting with all your hard-earned money, downtown Aspen is only a short distance away.

The Castle Creek TH has several large, open fields and designated camp sites further along the road, so I don't anticipate any space issues. It's an area popular with hunters in the fall, and last time I was there I saw about six RVs parked. I'm sure we can squeeze in a few dozen tents.

Feel free to use this thread to coordinate carpools, hiking plans, etc. Even if Castle/Conundrum don't interest you, there's a ton of options in the area for spring climbing novices and veterans alike. If Independence Pass gets cleared early (like last year) it opens up several climbs in the Sawatch, as well -- including La Plata. I myself will likely aim for Conundrum Couloir on Saturday and another snow climb TBD on Sunday.
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“There are two kinds of climbers: those who climb because their heart sings when they’re in the mountains, and all the rest.” - Alex Lowe

"There have been joys too great to describe in words, and there have been griefs upon which I cannot dare to dwell; and with those in mind I say, 'Climb if you will, but remember that courage and strength are nought without prudence, and that a momentary negligence may destroy the happiness of a lifetime. Do nothing in haste, look well to each step, and from the beginning think what may be the end.'" - Edward Whymper

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Re: 2013 Spring Gathering...

Postby BenfromtheEast » Tue Mar 26, 2013 1:56 pm

How about we all just bring our moms?

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Re: 2013 Spring Gathering...

Postby SurfNTurf » Tue Mar 26, 2013 2:52 pm

Since it's bound to come up, the upper Montezuma Basin is part of the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness. It's not an issue at the campsite, but once in the Wilderness Area we'll have to adhere to the following policies:

1. Entering or being in the area with more than 10 people per group, and a maximum of 15 pack or saddle animals.

2. Camping: (a) within one hundred feet of any lake, stream, National Forest System Trail, or any "No Camping" or "Wilderness Restoration Site" sign or; (b) within 1/4 mile of Copper Lake, Conundrum Hot Springs, Crater Lake, Geneva Lake, Capital Lake, and Thomas Lakes, except at designated campsites.

3. Building, maintaining, attending or using any campfire within one hundred feet of any lake, stream, or National Forest System trail or within 1/4 mile of treeline, above treeline, within the entire Bear Creek drainage or; within 1/4 mile of Crater Lake, Conundrum Hot Springs, Copper Lake, Geneva Lake, Capital Lake, Snowmass Lake or Cathedral Lake.

4. Storing equipment, personal property, or supplies for longer than 7 days.

5. Hitching, tethering or hobbling any pack or saddle animal within one hundred feet of any lake, stream or National Forest System Trail or; within 1/4 mile of Crater Lake, Conundrum Hot Springs or Snowmass Lake.

6. Possessing a dog, except for working stock dogs or dogs used for legal hunting purposes, unless under physical restraint of a leash not to exceed six feet in length.

7. Possessing a dog, except a service dog assisting a disabled person, within 1/4 mile of Crater Lake, except on the West Maroon or Maroon-Snowmass Trails or within 1/4 mile of Conundrum Hot Springs, including designated stove sites #7-13.

8. Possessing, storing or transporting any plant material, such as hay or straw. NOTE: exceptions are allowed for livestock feed that has been processed through chemical or mechanical means in a manner that will destroy viable seeds. Examples of allowed material include: pelletized feed and rolled grains.

9. Possessing or using a wagon, cart or other vehicle including a wheelbarrow or game cart.

10. Shortcutting a switchback in a trail.

11. Entering in or being in the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness without a valid wilderness use permit.
Mandatory Registration Required:

One member of each party is required to register at the trailhead and carry a copy of the registration with them during their visit.

There will is no fee for registration, they are self issue. Permits are required in order to measure the number of visitors in the wilderness and also to educate wilderness visitors about minimizing impact.


No matter how packed the campsites get, I've yet to see a Gathering "group" that comes anywhere near 10 members. Everyone starts at different times and, even if the intention is to stick together with a larger party, gets strung out. It will almost definitely be a non-issue, but please keep it in mind.
Many Miles to Go (Blog)

“There are two kinds of climbers: those who climb because their heart sings when they’re in the mountains, and all the rest.” - Alex Lowe

"There have been joys too great to describe in words, and there have been griefs upon which I cannot dare to dwell; and with those in mind I say, 'Climb if you will, but remember that courage and strength are nought without prudence, and that a momentary negligence may destroy the happiness of a lifetime. Do nothing in haste, look well to each step, and from the beginning think what may be the end.'" - Edward Whymper

Re: 2013 Spring Gathering...

Postby Steve Climber » Tue Mar 26, 2013 3:14 pm

If the group is too large, can we throw our pack on someone else and call them 1 of the 15 pack animals?
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Re: 2013 Spring Gathering...

Postby Dancesatmoonrise » Tue Mar 26, 2013 8:02 pm

SurfNTurf wrote:simply bring extra beer to get you through a day of lounging in camp.

Down.

SurfNTurf wrote: I myself will likely aim for Conundrum Couloir on Saturday and another snow climb TBD on Sunday.

Sounds good.

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Re: 2013 Spring Gathering...

Postby screeman57 » Tue Mar 26, 2013 10:48 pm

This sounds great--Castle/Con has been on my late-spring list. As has bringing extra beer and lounging in camp. Hopefully I can accomplish both.
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Re: 2013 Spring Gathering...

Postby Scott P » Wed Mar 27, 2013 7:56 am

Since it's bound to come up, the upper Montezuma Basin is part of the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness. It's not an issue at the campsite, but once in the Wilderness Area we'll have to adhere to the following policies:


Excellent point. I have really enjoyed the gatherings, and I don't want to rain on anyone's parade, but I believe that gatherings (no matter which organization/group they come from) should follow the rules.

Due to the greater skills required for these ascents, vs. some of the other gatherings, perhaps it can be assumed that the gathering will be smaller, but who knows.

Camping is going to be done by roadside, so that shouldn’t be a problem. Also, there several routes available, so it shouldn’t be that hard to split up and do various routes (Conundrum Couloir, North Couloir of Castle, NE ridge of Castle, etc.).

I don’t know if people would want more than ten people on a single route anyway. More than ten people on a confined couloir route just isn’t a good idea, even if they are spread out.
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Re: 2013 Spring Gathering...

Postby kushrocks » Wed Mar 27, 2013 1:04 pm

Dancesatmoonrise wrote:
SurfNTurf wrote:simply bring extra beer to get you through a day of lounging in camp.

Down.

SurfNTurf wrote: I myself will likely aim for Conundrum Couloir on Saturday and another snow climb TBD on Sunday.

Sounds good.


Im in. Jim looks like we might finally climb sometime together. My plan is to drink lots of beer/celebrate with everyone Saturday night so I don't really plan on climbing Sunday. :iluvbeer:
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Re: 2013 Spring Gathering...

Postby semitrueskerm » Wed Mar 27, 2013 2:01 pm

Calendar Marked.
Sharpening my crampons.

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Re: 2013 Spring Gathering...

Postby thevagabond » Wed Mar 27, 2013 8:36 pm

I'm interested in conundrum couloir for Sat as well. :twisted:

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Re: 2013 Spring Gathering...

Postby zdero1 » Wed Mar 27, 2013 8:52 pm

I'm there! I was thinking standard C/C route but I'll have to look at these snow climbs.

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Re: 2013 Spring Gathering...

Postby zdero1 » Wed Mar 27, 2013 8:53 pm

Also,

I have room for 3 more in the car and am willing to provide a ride from Denver.

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