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Day 30: snow day

tim and i decided to forgo an overnight winter experience and opted for a winter summit instead. since i fly out friday, this week was our target week. nevermind the minor detail that temps are hovering below zero degrees fahrenheit this week. we decided upon mt. audubon in indian peaks wilderness. sure, it was -15 when we set out and probably never reached above zero BUT sunrise was brilliant, "Oh, How He Loves Us" was playing on the radio as we bundled up which reminded me of another excellent snow adventure, and it was a blue bird day so we were pumped.
in short, we experienced "The Ridge: Attempt 2"-like conditions (sunny skies, LOW temps, and
deep snow). we broke trail on x-country skis, traversing our way across snow fields with spectacular views. a couple hours into our expedition, tim asked if i was also thinking the summit might be doubtful. yeah, doubtful. we re-set our sights on a ridge that led to the summit, deciding that would be "our summit." to quote evan's server, we told each other "that is good, for you." we ditched our skis in favor of snow shoes for the final push where we encountered steady 20mph winds directly in our faces with gusts up to 30mph. my auto-pilot final ascent went something like this: step, step, step and sniffle, step and pant/sigh, repeat. only one mile from our original destination but 1,500 ft below the summit. we debated whether it was worth exposing our fingers to potential frostbite for a "summit" shot. tim was the lucky photographer on that one.
the way down was "interesting." up to 30 degree slopes of fresh, untouched powder would have been a dream come true on our alpine gear. not so with x-country skis. i looked like a turtle stuck on its shell more than once. i even hugged a tree that i happened to plow directly into. thankfully, we laughed at all our mishaps and added another happy hiney adventure to the ever-growing list.

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