It's off-season around these parts and I have been in and out of Crested Butte since September. Here is an update from the last couple weeks.
I have been doing some professional development for this winter season by attending several snow and weather conferences. It was great to be back in a classroom for the CAIC's Mountain Meteorology Workshop at CMC in Leadville, CO this October.
This 3 day course was an excellent mix of background science and practical applications for forecasting. I will be working as a forecaster for the Crested Butte Avalanche Center this winter and immersing myself in the models with expert oversight was incredibly useful. While in Leadville, I also attended the National Avalanche Center Conference and the Colorado Snow and Avalanche Workshop. I left "Cloud City" super-saturated with information, but excited and prepared for this upcoming winter season.
After thinking about cold, snow and winter, I headed down to the Utah Desert to track down some wayward friends, and find sunshine, splitter cracks and desert towers. I also attended the AMGA Annual Meeting for several days and re-certified my Wilderness First Responder.
After the meeting, I was able to meet up with Chris Benson, Chris Wright and Mike Bromberg at Indian Creek for several days of stellar climbing on the world's greatest cracks.
The Creek hosts an amazing collection of world-class crack climbing in a beautiful remote setting. However, it is not just about the climbing...it's about being there and being ridiculous with your buddies in one of the most spectacular places in the country.
And what trip to the desert is complete without bagging a couple classic towers. Chris Wright and I were able to climb a couple towers in a few days in the Castle Valley.
And there's also something unique, if not ephemeral and downright dirty, about climbing in the Fisher Towers. Chris and I thoroughly enjoyed the exposure up Ancient Art and were both intrigued by the relatively solid mud climbing.
Chris on the corkscrew summit. As a geologist, I am not too sure how this mud dribble has seen so many ascents and not succumbed to gravity!
All in all, it was a fairly productive off-season. Some learning, some climbing and some exploring. Right now I am focusing all my attention onto this winter and waiting for the snow to fly. The CBAC opens on the 16th, we are currently expecting up to a foot of snow this weekend, and soon it will be time for ski touring, AIARE Avalanche Courses and maybe even a pitch or two of ice. Maybe! Think Snow