Mt. Blackmore: January Style

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Hiking Mt. Blackmore in JanuaryWhen simple day hikes turn into extreme mountaineering adventures, you're destined to go home with some memories. This is exactly what we got ourselves into the other day when we began our hike toward Mount Blackmore. Needless to say, I was unprepared to summit a mountain that exceeded 10,000 feet on this random Tuesday. This didn't stop me from blindly following the bootpack of my close friend and experienced climber, Zack Weiss. At times we found ourselves waist-deep in snow struggling closer to the mountain. A few miles in we reached an extensive snow basin at the base of Blackmore. Hiking Mt. Blackmore in January

The sun was shinning and we marched on. My dog Bear fought her way through snow over her head and awkward human bootpack on some of the steeper parts of the climb. Once we were about two hundred feet below the summit things started getting adventurous. Due to recent snowfall the final moves in our climb made it feel as if we were the first to ever go up there.



We succeeded, dog and all. The view from the top was nothing short of breathtaking. We filmed a panoramic and took some photos. We were both extremely impressed with Bear's climbing skills. I took a deep breath, soaked up the sunshine, and the view, and began to ponder our descent.


Hiking Mt. Blackmore in January

Packing in my boots and skis would have proven an easier way of returning to the car, but we improvised by sliding on our backsides and practicing self-arrests with ice axes. This was not only good experience to prepare for a serious occurrence that can and does happen to mountaineers, but it was also a blast! Reaching some pretty uncontrollable speeds and trying to spin over and sink an axe into the snow while you kick your feet like Michael Phelps was a real rush.
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