9 Oct 2011

(Aborted) Estes Cone

Getting ready for Halloween...

Sunday we planned to summit Estes Cone near Estes Park in the Rocky Mountain National Park. This was supposed to be a 6.5 mile round-trip with 2,000' of gain

However, a surprising amount of snow when we arrived and a very steep ascent at the end (1,000' in 0.7 miles) meant we would not summit

The trail head is the trail head for Longs Peak - which I will never be doing

"The most difficult portion of the (Longs Peak) hike begins at the Boulder Field, 6.4 miles into the hike. After scrambling over the boulders, hikers reach the Keyhole at 6.7 miles. The following quarter of a mile involves a scramble along narrow ledges, many of which may have nearly sheer cliffs of 1,000 feet or more just off the edge. The next portion of the hike includes climbing over 600 vertical feet up the Trough before reaching the most exposed section of the hike, the Narrows. Just beyond the Narrows, the Notch signifies the beginning of the Homestretch, a steep climb to the football field-sized, flat summit...57 people have died climbing or hiking Longs Peak. According to the National Park Service, 2 people, on average, die every year attempting to climb the mountain"

This is where we turned around - a pleasant 4-mile round-trip with no more than 500' of gain. The second pic is Estes Cone

Looking back at Longs Peak from Highway 7

Saint Catherine Chapel near Allenspark

Jesus thinks he's #1 or he's scolding us

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