12 August 2013

Snowflake Monday

Sky Pilot on the flanks of San Luis Peak

San Luis Peak was the first 14er I climbed after emergency back surgery. On the way down, we passed another Colorado Mountain Club couple, John and Renata. John, who had not seen me since my winter summit of Mount Sherman more than a year earlier, commented, "You're walking rather gingerly!"

I always associate ginger, both flowers and thick, chewy homemade gingersnap cookies, whenever I think of San Luis, thanks to John!

San Luis Summit

The Lizard and I climbed San Luis with our Hungarian-Canadian friends Ferenc and Andrea, and the mountain was Andrea's first 14er. Ferenc and Andrea and four of their kids spent last week with us, and their visit reminded me of San Luis. And ginger!


San Luis holds yet another special memory for me. It was the last 14er I climbed as a single person. The Lizard dropped to his knee the next day and popped the question. Ten days later, we were hitched!

San Luis Peak has a very long approach but is an easy walk-up. You gain altitude the entire way, but there isn't a difficult move anywhere on the mountain, which is why we picked that one just seven months after my surgery. We also thought it would be a good first climb for Andrea, who also suffers back problems.

Happy Andrea atop her first 14er

In addition to being what many mountaineers call "easy," San Luis stands only 14 feet over the magic 14,000-foot threshold. Because of this and the remote location, it is one of the least climbed of all 54-59 (depending upon which list you go by) 14ers.

Stewart Creek Beaver Pond

Moose reside along Stewart Creek, which is the route we took when we climbed this mountain, but the massive animals shyly avoided my camera the entire day. We saw many beaver dams in the lower portions of the valley, but no beavers posed for me. Nevertheless, wildflowers and birds were plentiful, and the weather couldn't have been more perfect.

San Luis Summit Marker

San Luis Peak from the Bondholder Trail

A few years later, The Lizard and I hiked up the West Willow Creek Trail, which intersects with the 525-mile Colorado Trail, from Creede in late autumn, nearing winter, to get a photo of San Luis Peak from the other side for the weekly planner I used to do every year at work. When the economy tanked, the 58-photo calendar was discontinued. But long live the awesome hikes we enjoy just to get a photo or two. Or two hundred...

The West Willow Creek Trail also intersects with the Bondholder Trail, which I thought was a very interesting name out in the middle of nowhere.

the top

We did some magnificent rock scrambling along the West Willow Creek Trail that day, just because, and then reclimbed the rocks when The Lizard realized he'd lost his wedding ring. He thought it might have fallen off when we removed our gloves for photos on the summit, but the ring was nowhere to be found. We retraced our steps all the way back to my car, to no avail, then returned to the remote spot we'd pitched our tent the night before, a good 30 or so miles away, where we found the ring!!!

Ring around San Luis, pocket made of blue fleece, a tisket, a tasket, no one sprung a gasket!

You may do whatever you'd like with snowflakes you make from this pattern, but you may not sell or republish the pattern. Thanks, and enjoy!

San Luis Peak Snowflake

Finished Size: 4 inches from point to point
Materials: Size 10 crochet thread, size 8 crochet hook, empty pizza box, wax paper or plastic wrap, cellophane tape, water soluble school glue or desired stiffener, water, glitter, small container for glue/water mixture, paintbrush, stick pins that won't be used later for sewing, clear thread or fishing line

NOTE: While making the white version of this snowflake, the prototype, I used dc instead of tr on the first round, then decided while pinning that the snowflake was too scrunched up in the middle, so I rewrote the pattern with tr stitches instead, and the blue version using the larger stitches was much easier to pin.

Cluster Stitch: [Yo and draw up loop, yo and draw through 2 loops on hook] 3 times, yo and draw through all 4 loops on hook.

San Luis Peak Snowflake Instructions

Make magic ring.

Round 1: Ch 3 (counts as 1 tr), 1 tr in ring, * ch 8, 2 tr in ring; repeat from * 4 times; ch 4, 1 tr in 3rd ch of starting ch 3 to form last ch 8 sp of Round. Pull magic circle tight.

Round 2: Ch 2 (counts as 1 dc), 1 dc over post of tr, 2 hdc in same sp, 2 sc in same sp, * ch 3, 2 sc in next ch 8 sp, 2 hdc in same sp, 3 dc in same sp, 2 hdc in same sp, 2 sc in same sp; repeat from * around 4 times; ch 3, 2 sc in next ch 8 sp, 2 hdc in same sp, 1 dc in same sp, sl st in 2nd ch of starting ch 2.

Round 3: Ch 2 (counts as 1 dc), 2 dc in same ch as sl st, * ch 6, 3 dc in middle dc of next 3/dc group (top of next point), ch 3, 3 dc in same st; repeat from * around 4 times; ch 3, 3 dc in same ch as starting dc; ch 1, 1 dc in 2nd ch of starting ch 2 to form last ch 3 sp of Round.
If you're not reading this pattern on Snowcatcher, you're not reading the designer's blog. Please go here to see the original.

Round 4: Ch 6 (counts as 1 dc and ch 3), 1 dc over post of dc just worked, * ch 6, sk next ch 6 sp, 1 dc in next ch 3 sp, ch 3, 1 dc in same sp, ch 5, 1 dc in same sp, ch 3, 1 dc in same sp; repeat from * around 4 times; ch 6, sk next ch 6 sp, 1 dc in next ch 3 sp, ch 3, 1 dc in same sp, ch 2, 1 tr in 3rd ch of starting ch 6 to form last ch 5 sp of Round.

Round 5: Ch 6 (counts as 1 dc and ch 3), 1 dc over post of tr, * ch 3, 1 sc in next ch 3 sp, ch 3, 1 cluster around next 2 ch sp of Rounds 3 and 4, ch 3, 1 sc in next ch 3 sp, ch 3, 1 dc in next ch 5 sp, ch 3, 1 dc in same sp, ch 5, 1 dc in same sp, ch 3, 1 dc in same sp; repeat from * around 5 times, omitting last 2 dc and ch 3 of final repeat; sl st in 3rd ch of starting ch 6; bind off. Weave in ends.

San Luis Peak Snowflake

Finish: Tape wax paper or plastic wrap to top of empty pizza box. Pin snowflake to box on top of wax paper or plastic wrap.

If using glue, mix a few drops of water with a teaspoon of glue in small washable container. Paint snowflake with glue mixture or desired stiffener. Sprinkle lightly with glitter. Wash paintbrush and container thoroughly. Allow snowflake to dry at least 24 hours. Remove pins. Gently peel snowflake from wax paper or plastic wrap. Attach 10-inch clear thread to one spoke, weaving in end. Wrap fishing line around tree branch (or tape to ceiling or any overhead surface) and watch the snowflake twirl freely whenever you walk by! Snowflake also may be taped to window or tied to doorknob or cabinet handle.

San Luis Snowflake Rocks

San Luis Snowflake Rocks

San Luis Snowflake Rock


  1. What awesome photos, and the scenery, just simply stunning!

  2. Wow looks like quite the place to be, nice snowflake too from thee.

    1. I'd love to go back, Pat. That's another of my favorite peaks!

  3. Oh, this is a pretty flake. And the mountains and flowers are gorgeous ... those blue ones in the first photo are unbelievable.

    If ever I should do a 14er I now know which one to start with! :)

    P.S. SO glad you guys found the wedding ring. Whew.

    1. Those are sky pilots, Sue, one of my most favorite wildflowers. I planted some in my garden, and they look completely different at 6,000-plus feet than they do at 14,000 feet!

  4. I live in Colorado and can relate to all the hiking and beauty you have encountered. It's a wonderful place to live! Thank you so much for the gorgeous snowflake crochet pattern. I'm starting them today as a nice touch to my Christmas cards/little gift for my family. They are the perfect size and just beautiful! <3 Many thanks and blessings to you on all of your future adventures! :)

    1. Thank you, Stacey! I think crocheted snowflakes are the perfect Christmas gift. They last for years, they bring back memories each year. And no two are completely identical. Unless you intentionally made them match!

  5. This is a lovely snowflake which I am trying to make at the moment. However, I don't quite follow what you mean in round 2, the first part of the instructions, 1 dc over post of tr, 2 hdc in same sp" etc. Which space?? The very slight space between the two trebles?? Or do you mean something else?

    Thanks in anticipation!!

    1. Thank you, Susie! Here is a dc join tutorial, which works the same way as a tr join. The tr join counts as the 6th ch space of the round, and you work right over it the same as a chain space, Put your stitches right around that tr as if it was a chain.

  6. It’s so hard, when you don’t know English language!) but I will try! Thank you!

  7. I'm so confused..
    * ch 8, 2 tr in ring; repeat from * 4 times; ch 4, 1 tr in 3rd ch of starting ch 3 to form last ch 8 sp of Round.
    That makes 4 loops (made by the 7ch) +1 made by the chain and treble. 5 loops total. Why do your pictures have 6?

    1. Aethora, the first ch 3 (counts as tr), tr in ring BEFORE the asterisk is the 1st set of trebles, making a total of 6 when you work the asterisk sequence and repeat it 4 times. 1+1+4=6

  8. I can't find your email address in the side bar. There does not appear to *be* a sidebar. I would like to contact you, though, as I have a question for you, and it appears that my last attempt to ask it got deleted.

    1. Steffanie, your comment and my answer are on the Six Zeros Snowflake pattern. I said I can’t wait to see the dress you are designing. (!!!) if you don’t see the sidebar, you must be viewing the site mobile. Go to the bottom of the post where it says “View web version” and hit that. My email just changed recently due to hostile provider takeover. (AT&T/Yahoo/Verizon). The new email address is flake at snowcatcherphotos dot com.


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