Sunday, August 22, 2010

I Did It

On Saturday, I knocked off my 7th 14er. I climbed Mt. Evans (14,265 Ft). I had been to the top of Mt Evans twice previously, but this is the first time I truly hiked to the top. I just can’t count driving to within a quarter of mile from the top as a hike. A lot of people drive up to Summit Lake (12,834 Ft) and hike up. I decided that was too easy and wasn’t challenging enough. So I started my hike from Echo Lake (10,597 Ft) by following the Chicago Lakes Trail. The hike starts off by losing about 300 to 400 feet in elevation. It felt like a lot more on the way back. I walked by the Idaho Springs Reservoir and after about 2 miles I came to the Mt Evans Wilderness Boundary. There was a sign that said 6.3 miles to Mt. Evans. I still had a ways to go. I hiked on by the Chicago Lakes. The lakes are worthy of hike all by their selves. They are extremely gorgeous with cliffs all around them.
The first Chicago Lake. Mt. Spalding is on the right in the sunlight.
Looking down on the first Chicago Lake from the 2nd one.
From the Chicago Lakes, I climbed up to the saddle between Mt. Warren and Mt. Spalding. It was a steep haul. Summit Lake is just on the other side of the saddle. Summit Lake is where I started seeing people. I hadn’t seen a soul before that.
Looking down on the Chicago Lakes. Longs Peak is visible on the horizon on the left.
Summit Lake and Mt. Evans
From the saddle, I took a right and started up Mt. Spalding (13,842 Ft). It was a little discouraging being passed by some of the hikers just starting out from Summit Lake. I was pretty tired at this point. I made it up and over Mt. Spalding. There were lots of people on the trail. Most had come from Summit Lake, but some had come from Mt. Bierstadt via the Sawtooth route. The summit of Mt. Bierstadt looked crowded. It was quite busy when I did it a few years ago.

Mt. Bierstadt and Abyss Lake
The closer I got to the summit, the more people I saw. The road came into view, and there were cars and people everywhere. It was too much to take. I went to the top, got my summit photo, had some water, soaked in the view briefly, and then started down the same way I came.
Summit Lake from the summit of Mt. Evans
Me on the summit
A marmot watching me in the saddle between Mt. Evans and Mt. Spalding
Going down was tough. The legs were tired and my energy was low. I had to take a few more breaks than usual going down. Going down can be dangerous if you’re tired. I was careful, and I made it. Looking back, I’m not sure if I would recommend taking the long way like I did. It is too discouraging seeing all the people who drove up after you’ve hiked all that way. At least I can say that I did it though. I’ll have to deal with this once more if I ever decide to make Pikes Peak legit. (It is not included in my 14er count.)

Happy Trails…


Monday, August 16, 2010

In Hiding

I met up with Flat Feet this past weekend in Grand Lake. He is going back and doing sections of the Continental Divide Trail that he road walked around because of weather related issues. This weekend he is acclimatizing to the altitude. I did a couple of day hikes with him in Rocky Mountain National Park. Here are some pictures.

The mighty Colorado River just north of the site of Lulu City.

Flowers along Grand Ditch

Flat Feet along Grand Ditch

Mama Moose. Baby moose is in hiding.

Me above Grand Lake on the East Inlet Trail

Flat Feet at Lone Pine Lake

Flat Feet walking along the East Inlet Trail

East Inlet

East Inlet once again.

Monday, August 09, 2010


On Sunday, I hiked to the top of Rosalie Peak. (13,575 Ft.) It is a part of the Mt. Evans group. With Rosalie Peak being so close to Denver you would think it would be overused, but surprisingly, it is not. I had the mountain to myself for most of the morning. It was almost noon before I saw someone else going up. I saw some other people later, but I don’t think they were going to the top. I started at the Deer Creek Trailhead (9,248 Ft.) and hiked up the Tanglewood Trail to a small pass on the ridgeline. From there, I took a left and followed the ridgeline to the top. There is no trail, not even a rock cairn. I figured there would have been a worn path. Anyway, no big deal, it was class 1 hike all the way to the top. The hike kicked my butt though. It was not hard; I’m just not in shape. I haven’t done enough hiking this summer. My endurance is not there. The hike was 9.5 miles round trip with an elevation gain of 4,327 feet. It was not the cakewalk that Mt. Audubon was three weeks back. Despite my lack of fitness, I made it and enjoyed the view. Here are the pictures.


Looking down on Roosevelt Lakes

Left to Right: Mt. Bierstadt, Mt. Evans, and me.

View towards South Park

Another view from the top of Rosalie Peak

The way down (also the way up)

Monday, August 02, 2010

Get Up

While I worked during the week, I don’t think my parents did much other than read. So I had to get them up and out hiking this past weekend. While the hikes were extremely easy, they were at least out doing some walking. Hopefully they will do more of that, but I doubt it. Saturday we went to Roxborough State Park. We did the Fountain Valley Trail. It’s a beautiful hike through the red rocks.

Moms & Pops on the Fountain Valley Trail

A view along the trail

Moms & Pops hiking up the trail from Persse Place

Lyons Overlook

On Sunday, we went to Castlewood Canyon State Park. It is a state park near Castle Rock. Cherry Creek runs through the canyon. There are ruins of a dam there. It broke in 1933 and flooded parts of downtown Denver. We did a short hike down into the small canyon and took in a Clark Griswold view of the dam and then climbed back out of the canyon. Apparently dogs are good at finding rattlesnakes. We met one couple with a dog that saw two rattlesnakes. They turned around and warned as about one snake, but we never saw it. Another couple with a dog had an encounter with a rattlesnake; unfortunately their dog got bitten on the nose. From the stories we pieced together, this happened shortly after we walked through that section of trail. We never saw or heard the snake.

Pops on a rock in Castlewood Canyon

Above: Moms & Pops in front of a conglomerate rock

The dam is right there, but it is too far...

Pops & a tree