Winter Dreams



It’s snowing.  It’s grey, dark and cold outside; the ground is frozen and uninviting.  The holiday gatherings are gone, spring has not yet arrived, and I’m irritated rather than impressed hearing of my friends in California doing 50 mile trail races wearing shorts and t-shirt.  Here, it’s January, aka, mid-winter.  I thus have two options:    

gsnowA) Take advantage of this time to: Increase my pathetic flexibility by starting a yoga routine; strengthen my weaknesses by a careful weight-training program; improve my diet by laying off the chocolate-covered almonds at bedtime; and keep running enough to stay in shape for a springtime buildup.  

B) Spend hours fantasizing about all the fun projects to do this summer.
Guess which option I’m choosing?  So here goes …

All (almost all) the canyons in Zion have been done, many great hard rock climbs have been done, but the long, scratchy and sketchy ridges and buttress’s are relatively untouched.  It would be possible to link them together for a massive “alpine” day in a beautiful desert environment.  Particularly with Jared as your partner.
The best Anasazi site I’ve ever seen – like Mesa Verde but no interpretive signs, guard rails, or rangers – also is a delightful 60 or so mile backpack trip.  Or one day run.  The problem is this route “dead ends” at the San Juan River, the nearest trail head being another 20 miles away.  What to do?  Who knows, but no worries; all problems are a piece-a-cake while fantasizing during a long January night.
50 Pitches in Eldo In A Day –
Climbing 50 pitches in Eldorado Canyon isn’t that easy, because they don’t line up readily; the climbing is spread out, requiring hiking and scrambling.  But hey, with Bill Wright (author of “Speed Climbing”) as your partner, again no worries.
Last June Jared, Ryan McDermott and I attempted to do the two biggest canyons in Zion NP IAD – Imlay and Heaps.  We were zipping thru, on schedule, but when pulling down the rope after the exit rap in Imlay, noticed it was core-shot – practically broke in half.  No good.  Attempt over.  Not quite – Jared decides to go retrieve our other rope stashed somewhere else, powers out of the canyon, finds the backup cord … and now with 500 feet (I’m not making this up) rope on his back, all heavy with saturated water, power hikes up the West Rim Trail in the full blazing sun with the temp an official 98 degrees.  Then at the top, we decide to bag it anyway.  With major bonus points now in the bank, we really need to cash them in and get the Trifecta done this year (throwing in Kolob Canyon for good measure).
Grenadier Traverse –
A very nice ridge of 13ers in the San Juans, with relatively good quality rock.
Pfiffner Traverse –
This is really big, really obvious, and for some reason, really undone.  Hike the Continental Divide from Milner Pass in RMNP to Berthoud Pass; long (will take days), all above timberline, some brief 5th class.
Heck, that’s a long enough list for now.  Everyone knows bad luck likes hearing about big plans.  Better strategy to keep my mouth shut.  Moreover, if I tell people what I’m doing, better, younger, and faster people might beat me to it.  I hope I haven’t hexed myself by publicly posting this list.  Just know that If one of these projects actually works, I’ll immediately blab all about it on this Blog, but if it ends in miserable failure, I won’t utter a peep and will hope no one remembers I ever said anything.
Of such are dreams begotten.

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2 Responses to “Winter Dreams”

  1. Leslie G Says:

    Hey Buzz, I can totally relate! What’s a girl to do mid-winter but fantasize about summer adventures? I was just blogging about exactly the same thing. Today, it was -32c when we went snowshoeing. I am already dreaming about dry singletrack in the spring….

  2. Stefan Says:

    Awesome, Buzz. Some of those projects are, indeed, a huge draw, but don’t worry – I’m only younger, not better and faster! I wouldn’t dream of attempting any of those without first asking you to be a partner anyway. And besides, I’ve been dreaming up some of my own lately too… 🙂

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