Posts

Showing posts from 2009

Mt. Sneffels (September 2009)

Image
(San Juans - Part 3)

Mt. Sneffels is third highest mountain in the San Juans, 14,150 ft. The hike up it is short, but steep and fun. The drive from Ouray to the trailhead was very scenic and part of it is a shelf road with amazing views.

Overhanging Rock


An Abandoned Mine


Cascades

We parked at the main trailhead and hiked up the road to the 4x4 trailhead. There we got onto the trail and headed towards a Sneffels with a light dusting of snow.


A Relatively Flat Section of Trail

When we got close we turned and went up a steep slope with loose rock and sand along the side of it.


After that slope we went up an even steeper gully with more snow, but the rocks were more stable. Then there was one more section, not as steep, but more technical with a steep drop off on one side. It started with a crevasse that was the crux of the climb. There was a few hundred foot drop on the left of it, just in case we fell. Once at the top we were rewarded with amazing views (and steep drop offs on all sides).


The …

San Juans Rest Day (September 2009)

Image
(San Juans - Part 2)


We had pulled into camp after dark, so we didn't realize the view that our campsite had. When we got up the next morning, this is the view that awaited us.



This was our rest day, so we just did stuff around Ouray. We went to the Box Canyon Falls. Unfortunately, I was not able to get any good pictures because of how close the canyon walls are around it. You'll just have to go and check it out for yourself. It is only $3 to get into the city park. South of Ouray, the road climbs quickly and when you look back (or pull off at a overlook) here's the view you get.


After going around Ouray, we headed up to Ridgeway for lunch and some beer at the Colorado Boy Pub & Brewery.
They have five beers. I had pint of the Stout, before getting tasters of the other four and finishing with a pint of the IPA. The stout and IPA were excellent. The Blonde Ale was tasteless. The Irish Red Ale was better than average for Red Ales. The Best Bitter was ok. The only food they…

Sunshine and Redcloud Peaks (September 2009)

Image
(This is the first of several trip reports from my San Juans trip in September.)We started at the Silver Creek Trailhead for the climb up Sunshine and Redcloud Peaks. The first part of the trail followed Silver Creek up through a scenic valley.Trail Going Along Silver CreekWe turned off the Silver Creek Trail and headed up a unmarked trail towards Sunshine Peak. The trail was a gradual climb through tree line and to the end of the valley.The Trail Above Treeline in the ValleyNext we climbed up a scree slope to a ridge. First we took a route up that went on the right of small knob, but there was a waterfall in that gully. So we traversed some and climbed down a bit to get to where we could climb up. It was scree, but we didn't take too long to finish the climb up to the top of that ridge-about 400 ft up from the base. Next we walked across some rocky hills to the base of the summit ridge. We left the track I had downloaded off the web, to follow a trail we saw going up the scree. I…

Blowing Rocks (December 2003)

Image
Here's some more pics from Blowing Rocks on Jupiter Island.

Waves Coming In

Man-O-War

Rock Blowhole


Bird Preparing for Takeoff

High Water on Boulder Creek (May, June 2003)

Image
A week ago Boulder Creek peaked over 800 cfs. These pics are from when it went up that high six years ago. Some high late May temperatures brought the water level on Boulder Creek up to 800 cfs. Normally it's above 400 cfs. The first three of these pictures are of the creek at 500 cfs in Boulder, a day or two before it went up to 800 cfs. The water was over the banks; covering sections of the trail along the whitewater course.

The Dam at the Top of the Whitewater Course

One Rapid in Town

Another Rapid in Town,
with a Strainer from some downed tree limbs

These pictures are up in the canyon above Boulder, when the creek was running at 800 cfs. One bridge was partially knocked out by the high water.
Above a Big Rapid

Partial Bridge Collapse

Rough Rapids

Holy Cross Backpacking (August 2003)

Image
The Mountain of the Holy Cross, with an elevation of 14,005 ft, is the third lowest 14er in Colorado. Colorado has 53 peaks higher than 14,000 ft called 14ers. They range in height from 14,001 ft up to 14,433 ft. The Holy Cross Wilderness is one of the most beautiful areas of Colorado. The Mountain of the Holy Cross is known for a snow cross on one of its sides. Unfortunately, we went in August and it had already melted. It is possible to hike it in one day, but we took our time and backpacked in. We found a sweet campsite near a creek. The next day we climbed up the mountain, while the clouds began to grow.

The Peak in a Cloud

View on the Way Up - A Lake

The Peak Sticking Up Above a Ridge

As we climbed up, we saw the clouds building up. By the time we got to the top, the sky was almost completely cloudy.

View from the Top

The View from the Top - Clouds Building Up

On the way down we did get rained on...a typical Rocky Mountain Summer Day. After another night by the creek, we hiked out.

Glacier Creek Snowshoeing (March 2009)

Image
The area near the end of the road to Bear Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park is the most scenic area in the park. This day, we snowshoed from the Glacier Junction trailhead up into Glacier Gorge. It was perfect weather for snowshoeing; clear skies and warm. The first quarter to half mile didn't have enough snow to snowshoe. At Alberta Falls we started following the creek and stayed on it all the way to the lake. Above Alberta Falls to the bridge for North Longs Peak Trail the creek was in a mini gorge. We had to climb up at a couple of spots. After it curved to the west, it was wider and had trees around it. Most of the creek was covered with snow, but wasn't hard to follow. This section has roaring water in the summer

One of the few sections of the creek that wasn't covered in snow

One bridge we passed only had a the rail sticking out of the snow; it looked like the horse hitch racks common in the park.
After the bridge most people that were on the trail began following …

Brainard Lake Snowshoeing (February 2009)

Image
A few weeks ago a couple of us went for a snowshoeing hike close to Boulder. The Brainard Lake area is about 35-45 minutes from Boulder. During the winter the road to the lake is closed. The road is open during the summer and you have to pay to get into the area. You can either take the road or one of the trails north or south of the lake. On the south side there are separate trails for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. The snow coverage on the road is spotty and you can walk it without snowshoes (unless there was a recent heavy snowfall). The trails are pretty reliably covered in snow.< This first picture is the view when you get to the lake. Even though there was not much snow cover in the open (Colorado is having windy winter again), the lake was frozen. After reaching the lake and getting a snack, we headed up to Long Lake, not far from Brainard Lake. Here is a close up of the patterns in crusty snow on the lake. (These are not fun to snowboard over...I tried at Loveland …

Valley Loop Trail (June 2003)

Image
On the west side of Rocky Mountain National Park are the headwaters of the mighty Colorado River. To get there from the front range, we drove across the park on the Trail Ridge Road which goes above 12,000 ft. In June, you can see how much snow the park crews had to clear from the road. In some spots, there were snow walls 10 feet high on the side of the road.


The road drops down to the Colorado several miles below its source. From this point to where it leaves the park, the river is in the wide Kawuneeche Valley. It meanders through pine forests and meadows.

and an occasional strainer.

The Valley Loop Trail is near the south end of the valley. Here is a picture from the trail as it passes the pine forest. Most of the pine trees are lodgepole pines.

If you go, a dragon fly might land on your shoulder to say hi.

Unfortunately, in the years since these pictures were taken, pine beetles have invaded the Kawuneeche Valley like many other areas in northern Colorado. Many of the trees have died …