Inspired Stone


columbinelake_header
July 12, 2012, 3:02 am
Filed under: Mountain | Tags: , , ,

columbinelake_header

The weekend before the 4th of July, Nicole and I hiked over the Continental Divide and spent two nights at Columbine Lake in the Indian Peaks Wilderness.

The trails on the east side of the Divide tend to be busy, so we started out early, and make it to the lake in the early afternoon. Spent the afternoon lazing around.

Day 2, our objective was to climb up Mt. Neva, which towered over the east side of the lake.

Day 3, wake up slow and head back over the Divide.

Advertisements


First Snow
November 5, 2011, 10:43 pm
Filed under: Photo | Tags: , ,

The first snows of the year have fallen. During the first storm, the snow only pushed down as far as the Flatirons, so I hopped my bike and ran up the hill just in time stand under a new layer falling.

The real snow came last week and left a 10 inch carpet of white over town. Tree limbs fell under the weight. I crashed my bike on the way to work. I saw someone out on cross-country skis in the open space across the street. It looks and feels and smells like the mountains! Now I need to think about getting some skis to take advantage of the frozen element. And figure out which rocks dry out the fastest so I can get back to climbing.



Bike to Climb :: Rocky Mountain National Park
November 2, 2011, 2:38 am
Filed under: Mountain | Tags: , , , , , ,

I continued with the theme of using a bike to get into the mountains, but I took it to the next level. While living in Davis, I had contemplated biking to and hiking Pyramid Peak, near Lake Tahoe, but the whole experience would have been a massive bike ride with a little hiking tossed in. Now in Boulder, there are far more options for an excursion where the biking and climbing are more evenly split. The nearest high mountains are in the Indian Peaks Wilderness, but it seemed that there were better biking conditions a little north on highway 7 and I had still not been into Rocky Mountain National Park. So I settled on biking up to the Peak-to-Peak highway, ascending Meeker Ridge on Mt. Meeker, traversing over to Longs Peak and then reversing the route back home. It was incredibly satisfying to leave our driveway on a bike, touch the top of Longs Peak and then roll back home about 36 hours later. Here is a photo sequence that captures the experience.














Geomorphology
February 18, 2011, 6:19 am
Filed under: cartography, Mountain | Tags: , , ,

My first steps into geographic analysis were to experiment with GIS and get the geographic data into a format I understood and could use. Now the fun starts.

I have a keen interest in the ridge lines of alpine terrain, which I’m sure is influenced by my passion for climbing. So my first idea was to develop an algorithm and computational routine to identify the ridge lines in an elevation map. I started with a small elevation map, shown below, covering the area immediately around Mt. Whitney. Lighter colors correspond with higher elevation (the summit of Mt. Whitney is at the center). Just looking at the image, it’s not difficult to identify the major ridge lines, like the ones I outlined in red. Telling a computer how to do the same thing is not easy.

In my first attempt, I wrote a short octave script that would find the locations where the elevation sloped downward in both east and west, or north and south (if it slopes downward in all four directions, than it’s a peak). The image below displays a white pixel wherever a ridge was identified. The result is mediocre. Of course there are minor ridges identified (like the ones on the west slope of Whitney, which are truly there), but the bigger problem is that even the major ridge lines are discontinuous.

Excitingly, I have found current research being done in this area.:

Taking a hint from the paper above and this group in Zurich, I think I should use some strategy like the Watershed algorithm. Here’s a peak at what I’m working on: