It wasn't really an alpine start for us. Leaving Los Alamos after a 7:00am stop at Ruby Ks, we arrived at the "trailhead" (read: as far as we could drive on the dirt road-that-turned-to-snow without getting stuck) at 8:30am
We'd use our splitboards in ski mode with skins on all day. It worked out rather well.
It was cold in the valley as we started skinning up. Some aggro four-wheeler had been there before us.
Ahh, the sun. The day was phenomenal. No wind, no clouds and warm.
In 2005 when Bill and I went in to the Rio Quemado Falls to ice climb for the first time, we were able to drive to this point. Today we had stopped about a mile short of this hill.
First view of the Truchas Peaks. I think this is Middle Truchas.
At the summer trailhead. The roads back there are a crazy maze and finding the most efficient route to this point is key. After a trip here with Josh over a year ago, I've finally got it dialed in.
Two hours after leaving the vehicle, we finally get on the trail. From here it was just shy of three miles to the falls.
Snacking and refueling at 12:20pm. With the trail breaking, it was taking a bit longer than expected.
Right at 1:00pm the falls were in view.
They looked completely different than when we had been there to climb them in December 2005--today the left side was anemic and the right side was beefy. In 2005, the left side was beefy and the right side was barely icy. (see next photo)
The falls in December 2005. Much beefier, and less snowy, than in December 2009.
Since it was later than we had hoped and we still had a few hours to get back to the car, we didn't get to climb them today. But we still checked them out...
Booting it up to the base of the falls
Because of the warm temps, water was flowing heavily on the surface of the ice which would have made for a soaking wet climb.
Bill leading up the falls in December 2005.
I was exploring around the base when I heard a crack followed by a whoomp and I fell into this hole towards the flowing water below. It was pretty rad.
Trying to scope out a way to the top of the falls in the right side of the falls. No dice.
Crossing the rio below the falls on the way out
Our skin track was firming up nicely for the ski out
Skiing with a splitboard skis with skins on isn't very fast nor very stable but it's still much faster than booting or snowshoeing
Back at the summer trailhead at 3:25pm.
Much faster skinning out
Last steep descent before the flats back to the car
Fucking global warming
And back at the vehicle at 4:50pm. We were out for just over 8 hours, climbed 2,700 feet and traveled 14 miles.