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Tag: continental divide trail

Weminuche Wanderings: West Ute Lake Loop

Continental Divide Trail: Hunchback Pass to West Ute Lake
Labor Day Weekend | Friday – Sunday, August 30 – September 1, 2019

Since we just spent last weekend along the Continental Divide in Wyoming, I figured it would be nice to spend some time along the Continental Divide Trail in Colorado this weekend. Since Labor Day is a popular holiday in the mountains of Colorado I planned a backpacking loop into an area of the Weminuche Wilderness that I hoped would not be very busy so we could try to avoid the crowds. The plan worked out great as we only saw a couple of other people all weekend and had plenty of solitude! As for the trails we hiked, they required more bushwhacking and route-finding than I expected, so that might be another reason why we didn’t run into too many people.

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Snow Mesa: Baldy Cinco & Baldy no es Cinco

Baldy Cinco Group | Friday – Saturday, July 26-27, 2019

Since Diane was working all weekend, I figured that this would be a good time to attempt my first 14er of the year and had settled on trying to climb Mount Yale in the Sawatch Range. The weather forecast for Saturday wasn’t looking too good, but Sunday was, so I decided to push the Mount Yale hike off until Sunday and find something shorter and easier to do on Saturday morning. Last year I had planned to hike Baldy Cinco and Baldy no es Cinco from Spring Creek Pass in late September but ended up changing those plans at the last minute, so I decided to give that hike another shot now.

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Hancock Pass Peaks

Colorado Adventure 2018 | Wednesday & Thursday, August 8-9, 2018

After climbing a few 13ers in the Mosquito Range on Wednesday morning and then stopping for lunch in Buena Vista I headed up the road along Chalk Creek toward St. Elmo into the Sawatch Range again. My plan for Thursday morning was to climb a pair of 12ers from Hancock Pass, but since it was still early in the afternoon I had some time to explore for a little bit before finding a campsite for the night near the pass. I started out by driving up to the Pomeroy Lakes Trailhead since I hadn’t been up to this area in over ten years. When I reached the end of the road I wandered around a little bit and found a nice overlook of Grizzly Gulch. This view brought back memories of the one time I drove to Grizzly Lake and needed to use my winch to make it up there. The overlook area was connected to the ridge of nearby Chrysolite Mountain which looked like a fun climb to the summit, but the weather wasn’t looking too great at this time or I might have tried it. Thankfully, the smoke was finally starting to clear out a little bit as the afternoon clouds and storms moved in, so I was able to get a good view of the surrounding peaks.

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Montezuma Peaks

Colorado Adventure | Sunday – Monday, August 5-6, 2018

After spending the weekend backpacking in the Gore Range with Diane, we parted ways on Sunday afternoon and I headed over to the Front Range near Montezuma to climb a few mountains as I continued my Colorado Adventure. After an early dinner in Dillon I drove up to Loveland Pass on the Continental Divide so I could hike to the summit of Mount Sniktau (13,234). Even though there had been storms earlier in the day and there were still plenty of clouds moving around, the weather was looking favorable for the climb and I was hoping that the clouds interacting with the light would make for some nice conditions. My legs were still pretty tired from our hike back down from Gore Lake in the morning so I was moving pretty slow, but the weather did hold out. However, once I reached the ridge I was struck by some very strong and brutal winds blowing across the Divide and I had to make use of a couple of rock shelters that I passed along the trail.

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Highland Mary Lakes & Verde Lakes

Saturday & Sunday, June 9-10, 2018

This weekend Diane and I decided to go on a very early season backpacking trip into the high country near Silverton. During a normal year we wouldn’t even consider going on a backpacking trip into the mountains until later in June or early in July, but with the low snowpack this year we decided to give it a try much earlier to see how the conditions really were. Also, since it’s still early in the season, the monsoons haven’t started yet and we would be able to camp well above tree line without worrying about storms or lightning. Plus, with Highway 550 closed between Durango and Silverton because of the 416 Fire, we figured the mountains near Silverton wouldn’t be very busy right now and we hoped to find plenty of solitude.

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