Headed back out down the valley of the Colorado river to Glenwood, once we started descending we had some engine sputtering so we played around with that before landing and on the ground. Things appeared good, so we continued.
Once we were in the air the oil temp, and cylinder temp were pretty high, so backing off the throttle a little we debated stopping at Aspen. We were at the point of calling in to the aspen tower when the temps dropped and we decided we could continue to Leadville.
My passenger and I picked up our certificates for landing at the highest airport in the US. More fuel... The wind was kicking up, I was thinking we were abandoning the northern return, we checked the AWOS at Copper and noted gusts to 25. We decided to head back on 285 over much lower passes.
When we got back we discussed with one of the mechanics about the sputtering engine and decided that this was not an ice in the carbs problem but likely water in the fuel. They say it takes 3 or more hours for the water to settle out and be visible in the fuel test prior to take off. But we had flown over 20 minutes before having issues.
Back home safe.