9.07.2006

Wedding in Aspen

I hope you all had a great holiday weekend! The weather up here was perfect, it was warm, calm and dry all weekend in the mountains! Perfect for a wedding, and a climb. Saturday my friends Karlin and Wells got married on top of Aspen! The ceremony was outside on the wedding deck with incredible views of the surrounding peaks including the fourteener Pyramid Peak, and the Aspen Highlands Ski Area. They couldn't have ordered up a better day for the event! After a cocktail reception on the deck, the party moved into the neighboring lodge where the Aspen Mountain Club is housed. This is the private ski club on top of the mountain, but it can be rented out by the public in summer for receptions. Nice place! We had a buffet style lunch which included potato and leek soup, salad, proscuitto wrapped chicken, mushroom risotto, salmon and fresh vegetables. All of which was excellent! After lunch it was time for the toasts, and they were tear jerkers for sure. One of Wells' family friends delivered a speech about Wells and his late parents that everyone soggy-eyed. Then one of all of our dear friends from Chicago kept the tears going with a tribute to his best friends before Wells made sure all the hankies were soaked with his own dedication and tribute to his family. Hey, you are supposed to cry at weddings, right? After that it was time for dessert and dancing before the gondola whisked us all back to the town. That evening we had dinner and watched college football kick off before heading out on the town. A good number of people were staying in town all weekend, though some were in and out of the festivities for concerts and hiking. I was part of the latter, taking advantage of the beautiful weather to head up one of Colorado's hardest fourteeners. Capitol Peak, at 14,130' is the 29th highest peak in the state, but considered by many to be in the top 3 list of most difficult fourteeners. Most of this difficulty is due to a section of ridge known as the "knife edge". This portion is fourth class and requires most people to either crawl or traverse across the side by gripping the top and side stepping. I was able to stand on most of it, but there were a few places it was too narrow and too exposed for my comfort. In order to fully understand the beauty and difficulty of this time honored test piece of Coloroado's mountains, I have included a link to my trip report from 14ers.com below:

Capitol Peak Trip Report

After the climb I headed back to Aspen to meet up with my friends Mike, Kate, Jim, Kelly and Tim from back in the days of living in Chicago. Tim actually now lives in Austin himself, seems our old group is splitting up and moving all over the country. We hung out at their hotel suite, sharing pizza for dinner before having a bunch of the wedding guests, including the bride and groom, over for a send off party. It was fun getting to hang out and reminsice with everyone, though I was admittedly a bit tired from my hike. We even resurrected the old jam sessions from Chicago, playing guitar and singing along to as many songs as we knew the words for. I stayed at their hotel, and in the morning when they drove back towards the airport we followed each other over Independence Pass stopping for some pictures. We stopped in Leadville for gas and food before splitting up once again, them to head to Denver and me back to Vail. Hopefully we will all be able to get together again really soon (Christmas perhaps?). It was good to see everyone, its hard to believe that is has been so long since the days of hanging out at each others houses jamming on guitar and singing songs. It felt good to do that again, but also it kind of made me feel lonely knowing I was going back to Vail by myself in the morning. It was a great weekend though, and I hope we have more like that!