We spent Christmas in Denver, and headed to Rocky Mountains National Park, for winter mountaineering. Too bad Victor was really sick now, although he neglected to mention it to me. Instead, he insisted on carrying a ton of gear, again, and so there was no room left for either books, or my camera. It was a breathtaking day, cold but sunny, as we left Glacier Gorge Junction trailhead. We were going to camp at Sky Pond, at 11,000 feet, and then pick out some climbs to do. Sky Pond sits underneath the Continental Divide ridge, and to get to it you have to walk past the Petit Grepon peak, with its well known wall that towers over the Loch Vale lake. Steep faces and gullies everywhere, with glaciers coming off the Divide ridge, not a soul in sight. The wind had blown away a lot of snow from some of the faces, and so it looked like we could make it up to one of the Divide peaks while avoiding avalanche danger. I was psyched.
Anyways, we got near Sky Pond, dug a pit in the snow for the tent, and Victor was not doing very well. He got in his sleeping bag as soon as we pitched the tent ; he had a fever and was coughing up a storm. Anyways after a bunch of tea made from melted snow, I was hoping he'd feel better. I fell asleep, and after we repeated the deal with the tea at midnight, he did start feeling better.
The wind picked up considerably during the night, and buried us a bit, which made my very small tent even smaller. Not a good deal. In the morning the wind was still howling, and all the snow had gotten blown off the surface of the lakes. We decided to get out of there before the weather got any worse (we were planning to wait it out, and had enough food to do so, but with Victor being sick, and my tent being so small, it would have been a total drag). The snowshoes were excellent on the way down. I was bummed not to climb a 4000 m peak in true winter conditions, but oh well.