30 Sep 2011

Mount Evans

We found out that the Mount Evans road (half of the Mount Evans "Scenic Byway") was going to close for winter on Monday. The road - the highest paved in North America - is 14 miles long and goes pretty close to the summit. Mount Evans is 14,265' tall

The Byway is 28-miles long with the additional 14 miles between Mount Evans road and I-70. Foliage is awesome right now

The final 5.4 miles to the summit has been closed for a month now - which is great if you want to run to the summit. We parked under the peak at Summit Lake

It was a sunny cool day and very quiet with no vehicles

Mount Bierstadt - a 14'er just 1.5-miles away. It is considered an easy 14'er so we may try it in the next few weeks

Grays and Torreys - a pair of 14'ers Leadville Chuck wants to do next week

The approach. A parking lot for when the entire road is open and a University of Denver optical observatory (third highest in the world)

The summit is another 1/4 mile and an easy 300'

Obviously a "controversial" 14'er for the pure. We're taking credit and claiming it as our 2nd 14'er

The views are spectacular - although not as spectacular as either Quandary or South Arapaho. Maybe the sun was too bright

Saw critters on the run back. Mountain goat


We hustled down best we could as there were a few stormy clouds but the pavement took a toll. We're used to dirt trails or packed gravel. It was more of a slow steady jog

Back at the car. No storm

The road is very sketchy to drive at times - no guardrails and steep drop-offs

The drive back to I-70. Plenty of folks pulled over taking pics

28 Sep 2011

South Arapaho Summit

Leadville Chuck and myself made it to the trailhead just after 9am. Another glorious Colorado fall day

We were running for a decent time so no new pics of the first 2.1 miles / 1,150' of the ascent (trailhead to the mining ruins - see link below)


We made it to the mine in about 40 minutes and headed up - views were awesome

The peak came into view

This is Arapaho Glacier - where Boulder gets it's water

Half a mile and 700' from the summit. WTF?

There was a 10-minute stretch where I thought about turning around. Paralyzed with fear of heights at 12,900' HAHAHA - not good times. Leadville Chuck led the way finding the "easiest" route. Shortly after one false summit we had made it. HAHAHA!

Close up of Long's Peak and its shorter twin Meeker

Mandatory summit pics

Back down took a few final pics of the glacier and the summit

Round trip was 8.9-miles and 3,295' in 4h06m

26 Sep 2011

South Arapaho Preview

Tuesday me and Leadville Chuck will be summiting 13,397' South Arapaho peak

Monday me and the Wife did maybe 4.2-miles of the 8- or 9-mile round-trip, ending our hike at 11,250' at the Fourth of July mine (we never planned on making it to the summit)

After going through Nederland and Eldora, the trailhead is at the end of 5 miles of a real rough dirt road flanked by foliage and waterfalls

The trail begins in the woods but shortly emerges

At first we thought these mountains is where the Arapahos (South and North) were. They are not - but they are visually spectacular

We stayed on Arapaho Pass Trail and crossed a field before arriving at the intersection with Arapaho Glacier Trail - our route tomorrow

At this intersection is the Fourth of July mine - closed a century ago

This is Tuesday's hike (it goes behind this)

It looks easy. Not these pictures:

Check these short videos out:

So...if I die at least I didn't die at work