Sunday, October 10, 2010

Hiking Among Snowy Peaks

My friend Nicole is visiting from Boston this week, and so far we've had a fun few days of relxing and adventure.

Friday night was the STYX concert at the Belly Up here in Aspen.  The Belly Up is a small venue with a maximum of about 400 ticket holders, so we got to see an awesome classic band from about 25 feet away!

The encore performance - Renegade!

Yesterday, my friend Jamie joined us and we headed to the Maroon Bells, which is one of the most popular areas for tourists here in Aspen.  With a fresh coating of snow on the peaks surrounding Aspen, the drive up and our hike to Crater lake was nothing short of beautiful. 

The only thing that would have made the views better was a blue sky, but the clouds overhead welcomed us with a few little snow showers, so I'm not complaining.

That's me at the start of the hike at Maroon Lake with the Maroon Bells behind me.  This area has several 14-ers (a peak that has a summit at 14,000 or above), which are extremely difficult to summit.  Most require extreme mountaineering techniques and a lot of equipment like harnesses and ice climbing gear. 

 The Maroon Bells are named for their bell-like shape and their very red color of soil and stone, which is hard to see here with their fresh coating of snow. 

Like I said, they're pretty gnarly to climb, and this past summer the papers had a few reports of fatalities up there.  We took a somewhat short and easy hike to Crater Lake, which is at the base of the Bells.  We even got to enjoy a little snow shower while we were sitting around the lake.

We finished off the day with some pub grub and beers at the Aspen Brewing Company!

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