"In the depth of winter I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer"
I've made my way up the Halfmoon Creek drainage each of the past two days, and it has rekindled a desire to explore in me that warms my soul. When Mel and I first decided to move to Leadville, we set up camp out here and froze our tails off for a week or so before finding a place to live. It is home to the trailhead from which I first ran out into the sky above the trees, it's hosted some of my greatest mountain running efforts, and some days of demoralizing defeat. It is nice there.
Yesterday Luna and I cruised out to the Mt. Massive Trailhead (Elbert's was snowed in), I worked a bit in the morning, so we didn't get out there until about 2:00 leaving me with no intention of summiting Elbert. I did, however want to pack the trail down a bit following last weekend's snow. I also figured that if someone had made the first tracks someone else may be inclined to follow them at least as far as I did or extend them even further. This is what I encountered:
I made my way back to the trunk of my car and retrieved some snowshoes, the snow was close to 2 feet deep... I then figured out how to put on snowshoes, pined briefly over how cumbersome they seemed and took off. Running in snowshoes isn't easy, it saps a lot of energy. I'd like to try running in some bonafied running snowshoes sometime, I imagine it's quite a bit better than the ones I've got at present.
|Turquoise Lake disguised in white.|
Up and up we (we being me and Luna) went until we came to the clearing just before you burst out of the trees. It was here I decided to turn it back for the day- it had been an excellent workout and the sun was tucking away more quickly than I'd wished.
Today marked the first day Mel and I had off together in several weeks. We've shared a morning here, some evenings there, but this was the first day that was all ours! We tossed some snacks, skis, and the pup into the car and headed back to Halfmoon. Parking at the Massive TH, again, we headed further up the drainage via the 4x4 road that crosses many excellent campsites and sends you to the N. Halfmoon Lakes TH, from which you can access Massive's summits via the south slopes.
|She always finds a way to get her kicks|
We skied for about two and a half hours, whooping and hollering all the while. The valley was quiet and peaceful, it felt like it was all ours again, much like in early May when we arrived. Except now Luna is with us!
|One cold creek|
|Mel climbing- Elbert's northernmost summit seen above|
Some spontaneous air, and a near accident...