Through my lens: 14 women and the San Juans

It is about that time of year again, when we gather our wits, a whole bunch of gear… and head into the Colorado backcountry in search of summits.  This is my third year joining one of my favorite groups of ladies on a backpacking adventure and my mom joined me this year! Not many girls can say they backpack 14ers with their mom!

Our objectives were Redcloud (14,034ft), Sunshine (14,006 ft), and Handies (14,058 ft). As a group we hiked the first one, some continued on to Sunshine and the ambitious girls climbed Handies the next day while others did a day hike into Grizzly Basin.

Every year people say in shock, “You went backpacking with 14 women?! That must be horrible!

But I assure it is not. We’ve talked long about why these trips are so amazing, why there isn’t an ounce of female friction that can often happen when large amounts of estrogen get together. Maybe it is the large age span (we don’t leave anyone out), varying from age 26-63. Maybe it is the acknowledgement of one group leader who has proven herself trustworthy. Maybe it is that all the rest of us would rather follow than fight for control. Maybe it is the wine. 🙂

Either way, here are just a few of the moments that made this year’s journey:

Bringing a Pie Backpacking!

Bringing a pie backpacking!

Women's backpacking trips in the San Juans, Colorado

Women’s backpacking trips in the San Juans, Colorado. Getting ready for the climb into camp.

Hiking into camp; Silver Creek Trail

Hiking into camp; Silver Creek Trail

Early starts to beat the storms; heading up to Redcloud.

Early starts to beat the storms; heading up to Redcloud.

Alpine start as we head up Silver Creek Trail.

Alpine start as we head up Silver Creek Trail.

Gorgeous wild flowers in the basin.

Gorgeous wild flowers in the basin.

Hiking up to the saddle below Redclous

We keep to the motto: no woman left behind. There is safety when we stick together.

Early morning sun still left us cold!

Early morning sun still left us cold!

Summit pitch of Redcloud.

Summit pitch of Redcloud.

Summit of Redcloud, elevation: 14,034ft)

Summit of Redcloud, elevation: 14,034ft)

Drinking wine before dinner!

Drinking wine before dinner!

Cooking in the back country for 14 women!

Cooking in the back country for 14 women!

Looking out from the summit of Redcloud

Looking out from the summit of Redcloud

Proof I was there! Photographer problems... :)

Proof I was there! Photographer problems… 🙂

 

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