Mt. Spalding via Chicago Lakes

My friend Nathan and I have a goal this year to snowboard at least once a month, every month, for the entire year. In Colorado it's not too difficult of a challenge as long as you know where to look because for 9/12 months (October - June), there is usually a resort open. This leaves July, August, and September for us to scrap for some remaining snow. St. Mary's glacier is always a good bet, but we've been-there-done-that so many times that it was time to find something new.

+ Our original goal for the day was to summit Mt. Sherman and ride down as far as we could. I had seen pictures of the mountain from the day before and it still had some decent snow.

A photo posted by Justin Gibbs (@gibbsjml) on

But as it goes, the night before turned into the morning of and little sleep was had, so we opted for a closer mountaininstead. The Mt. Evans wilderness area has a good deal of tall mountains (Evans, Beirstadt, Grey Wolf, Spalding, etc...) and is less than and hour from home. So we decided to head that direction with little in the means of a set goal other than knowing that we were going to head off of the Chicago Lakes trail.

We parked at the Echo Lake parking lot and proceeded to hike ~6 miles to our eventual destination, which was somewhere between Grey Wolf and Spalding.

The trail was very active with people who all seemed to think we had a few loose screws for hiking with our boards. Some thought it was awesome, others were shocked that we weren't planning on spending the night, most told us that there was no snow and good luck. We knew better than that, we could see the snow from the parking lot. What was left of it, anyways.

Found some #snow on Spalding. #snowboarding

A photo posted by Justin Gibbs (@gibbsjml) on

Once we got to Upper Chicago Lake we were able to clearly see a few couloirs and aprons. We weren't equipped with proper mountaineering gear so climbing the couloirs was out of the questions. The aprons on the other hand, were ripe for the picking.

A photo posted by Justin Gibbs (@gibbsjml) on

And a good day was had by all.

On our way out we found another patch of snow by the creek, so naturally we built a little jump and hopped it.

The hike out was long and tough. Between the 2 of us we had 3 aching knees, a decent sunburn, some dehydration, and exhaustion. The car was a happy sight.