Jeff Warner PHOTOGRAPHIC, Golden, Colorado, USA

Saturday, January 15, 2011

2nd Annual Grizzly Pk. Winter Ascent (el. 13,427')

Nico and Gary joined me on the spur of the moment for our 2nd annual ascent of 13,427' Grizzly Peak, off Loveland Pass. We started at the top of the pass (11,990') at 9am, and it's about 6 miles and 3500' of up/down climbing. Although there wasn't a tremendous amount of snow (as usual, the route is on the windward side, thus gets scoured down to rock in many places), we definitely got some winter weather, including winds of 30-40 mph on the way down. If you are interested in seeing a larger set of images from the day, check out the Grizzly Peak Gallery on the main website.

Good times!

The climb up to Pt. 12,915 from the pass saw clouds pulsing up and down the valley below, alternately drowning us in windy clouds and wonderful, warm sun.

Some of the crew we ended up hiking most of the way up with, and the light winds of the morning.

Nico nears one of the areas with deeper snow; Grizzly Peak is the highest point in the background.

Nico cruises along a little spine above me.

Looks nice to ski from here, but significant avalanche terrain. No thank you.

We near the last step up to the summit, a significantly steep push of about 700'. Note how windswept the ridge is, with the rather large cornice that you wouldn't want to stray too far out upon.

A detail shot of the cornice.

A climber descends the area where the last two images were taken.

By the time we got to the summit, the weather had turned, and we were treated to this for the next hour. At least the winds were not too bad, but it did get quite a bit colder inside the cloud.

As we neared the bottom, the wind had switched directions, and re-deposited much of what had been lee-side snow back onto the trail (usually the windward, scoured side), making for some cool snowforms that hadn't been there 6 hours previous.

Snowform detail, looks like a wave. This was in about 2 feet of snow that had been practically bare rock that morning.

Winds roaring out of the north, over the hill above Loveland Pass.

The final push back to the car found the winds howling at 30+ mph.


  1. Amazing Jeff. Thanks for sharing the photos.

    Michele S,

  2. Great pictures and colorization! Good job.

  3. cool, i was up there on the 16th, with similar conditions. i was going to climb sniktau, but got blew out. nice pics!

  4. I love them all but the 4th picture gave me a chill. Such a lonely, cold shot. Amazing Jeff! Hugs, Marlene #2

  5. Thanks Michelle, Marlene, and moboy56, glad you enjoyed. I really like that 4th one as well, Marlene. I'd gotten something similar last trip (see 1/16/10 blog post if you're interested), but hadn't been satisfied with the composition of the climber. Considering how in/out the clouds were, it's amazing that the same atmospheric conditions prevailed at the same location on the mountain at the same time, 364 days later. Weird stuff!

  6. The last b&w is may favorite. The lone hiker in a desolate icy wasteland. Something very forlorn about that shot - and very much how I felt coming back down. -GR

  7. I know what you mean, Gary; I had been in front of her the whole way, and as I continually pulled over to get pics of the snowforms, she and her partner got further and further in front. I then realized I was alone with my camera (as usual)... Glad you got a catnap on the way down the hill!


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