This last week, Jeff, Matt, Mike, Jamie and Jason joined Matt and I for what turned out to be a great time in the San Juans. The crew had a good range of experience. Some people had never climbed a mountain before and others had already done a couple of the ‘Seven Summits’. Everyone came away from the weekend having learned a lot and having experienced the amazing summit of Engineer Peak.
On Day one we drove North of Durango to Cascade Canyon for a day of ice climbing. Everyone seemed to pick the art of climbing ice up very quickly and were cruising up the walls in no time. Jason and Matt wanted to do some rappelling so we arranged that near the end of the day, then packed up and headed back to Durango to prepare for the next day.
Day two we drove up to Coalbank Pass and hiked in to our camp at around 11’500′. When we arrived we set up our tents and then got to work digging out the best cook tent I have ever seen. At 6′ deep with an archway to the kitchen plus a separate seating area, it will be hard to beat.
Day three dawned clear which was good since we had a ton to go over. We started out with some Avalanche Awareness and beacon searches. Then transferred into self arresting, snow anchors, crevasse rescue, and ascending a fixed line. We finished off the day with, quesadillas and cheddar and broccoli soup for appetizer then burritos for dinner and cheesecake for dessert!
Day four was summit day. A team on day three was nice enough to break trail part way up Engineer, but we had to finish it off on our own. We summited in great time in perfect conditions. After soaking up the views from the summit we returned to camp, packed up and headed for Durango.
Everyone in the group did a great job and I hope to climb with each of you again in the future!