September 2018 was not the best ending to a hiking and scrambling season that I've ever had - not even close. To be blunt, it was pretty crappy and the worst end of season so far for me! September is usually my favorite time of year in the Rockies. The touron hordes go home and even normally busy areas such as Skoki, Lake O'Hara and Assiniboine see less and less visitors and more and more yellowing larches and bright fall colors in the vegetation coating the mountains. The combination of clear blue skies (no more wildfires), snow-capped peaks and bright vegetation is usually what keeps me going for the next 5 months of winter. Not this year. In a clear sign of pending doom, I didn't even bother heading out to the hills for the first few weekends of September! In another bad sign for this upcoming winter and likely my mental health, instead of planning my usual 2 weeks off at the end of September, I struggled to even plan a week off, considering the horrid weather forecasts that kept loading onto my various weather sites.
[THIS is what fall is 'supposed' to look like! This is from September 28th, 2017 on our Cyclone Peak approach in Skoki. ++]
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