trips & events
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1-3 July 2006
The Gore Range is an area near Vail containing some of the most rugged mountains in Colorado. Few of the peaks are named; the most prominent peaks are identified only by letters of the alphabet.

Peak Q, a 13,230ft mountain located at the head of the Slate Creek drainage, is one of the most remote peaks in the range. Devin, Pat, and I climbed it during a 3-day backpacking trip in July 2006. We started at the Brush Creek trailhead (9,000ft) and hiked 10 miles to a base camp at Upper Slate lake (10,853ft). We left camp in the wee hours of Sunday to climb the peak.

This was my first time donning crampons and ice axes, and I really enjoyed it. The snowfield seemed to fly by easily, but the off-snow part of the route was a tad harder. The route was steeper than the Kelso ridge and the rock was pretty loose. Glissading down a very steep, soft snowfield was the worst part- I struck a hidden boulder and fell into the hole behind it- I was buried up to my waist and unable to dig myself out. Devin had to traverse over and dig me out with his axe.

Following this episode, I decided I needed a nap- so I descended the glacier alone while Devin and Pat climbed peaks R and S. About 30 minutes after we split, it started hailing. I hurried back to camp while Devin and Pat hid from the hail and lightning in a hole underneathe a boulder on Peak R, sharing a can of meat spread using a pair of cheez-its for utensils.

All in all it was a wild day, so we ate a double portion that night and hiked out the next day.
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