Tagged: ridgway

Whipple Mountain & Last Dollar Mountain
Independence Day | Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Diane hikes through a hillside of lupine as we descend the Whipple Mountain Trail.

This year for Independence Day Diane and I woke up early and drove down to the west end of the Sneffels Range near Telluride to climb a couple of mountains just off the Last Dollar Road. We started out by hiking up the Whipple Trail to the summit of Whipple Mountain (11,922) which was about 1.5 miles in length with 1,500 feet of elevation gain. It was mostly up an easy trail lined with wildflowers and then the last section from the saddle to the summit was on a faint track through a forest where the mosquitoes were pretty terrible. We enjoyed the view from the summit over toward Wilson Peak, El Diente Peak, and Lizard Head for a little bit and then hiked back down to the trailhead.

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Sunday, October 2, 2016

Hesperus Mountain is an impressive sight over the Twin Lakes in the La Plata Mountains.

I had set my alarm for 5:00am this morning, but when it went off I looked outside and didn’t see any clouds, so I went back to sleep since I was still pretty tired from the previous day. I ended up waking up again just after 6:00am and realized that I might have enough time to make it over to the Dallas Divide to catch the sunrise. I quickly got ready and was soon driving through Ridgway on my way to the divide. I reached the parking area just in time and found that it was a pretty popular place this morning. I parked my Jeep, got out and took a few quick photos and then left a few minutes later. I didn’t stick around very long, maybe 10-15 minutes at the most. There were just too many people for me and the conditions weren’t anything special this morning.

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Friday & Saturday, September 30 – October 1, 2016

Ending the long day with a spectacular sunset above Owl Creek Pass in the San Juan Mountains.

I left right after work on Friday afternoon to begin my annual week-long October trip. Typically, I spend the entire week on the Colorado Plateau in southern Utah or northern Arizona, but this year I decided to spend the first couple of days in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado to try and make up for my lack of climbing mountains over the summer and maybe photograph some of the leftover fall colors. I wanted to try and get one more 14er in this year and Mount Bierstadt (14,060) in the Front Range sounded like a good easy option to start with. After leaving work I made my way over to Dillon for dinner and then finished the drive on I-70 to Georgetown where I followed the road up to Guanella Pass. I found a spot to camp and pretty much fell right asleep so I could get an early start the following morning.

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Saturday & Sunday, September 19-20, 2015

Redcliff at sunset in the West Fork of the Cimarron River.

On my quest to hike and explore more of the Uncompahgre Wilderness I decided to climb a pair of thirteeners in The Cimarrons along the high ridge that towers between the West Fork and the Middle Fork of the Cimarron River. The peaks along this ridge are prominent landmarks on the horizon every time I drive south into the San Juan Mountains and it was time to finally get a closer look.

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Fall Colors 2014
Saturday & Sunday, September 20-21, 2014

On Saturday, Diane and I headed back down to the San Juan Mountains again so we could climb to the top of Courthouse Mountain in the Cimarron’s . While this mountain is short compared to the surrounding peaks in the area at only 12,152 feet, it is uniquely shaped and has over 1,000 feet of vertical prominence. It’s also a very distinguishable peak near Owl Creek Pass that is often photographed, especially in the fall when the surrounding mountainsides are changing colors. I have seen this mountain in the skyline for many years when I would drive to Ouray and Silverton, and decided it was finally time to climb to the top a few weeks ago when I had a different view of it during our hike into Wetterhorn Basin. While there were afternoon storms predicted after 3:00pm today, we didn’t need to get too early of a start for this hike since it’s a relatively short trail, clocking in at just under 2 miles, but it climbs almost 2,000 feet of elevation in that short distance.

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