I went south this weekend and hiked into Willow Lake to climb Challenger Point (14.081) and Kit Carson Peak (14.165). It was an incredible hike and both mountains were great climbs. The camping at the lake wasn’t that bad either… Here is a video of the trip and a few pictures as well. I’ll upload a full gallery in a bit.
The plan was to climb South Arapahoe and traverse to North Arapahoe, but I was going to be cutting it close getting to work at the library by 2, so the classic traverse will have to wait.
I finally did a hike I’ve been eyeing for a while now today. At around 11.5 miles or so, its a long hike that requires some serious work and time. I opted to park at the Chautauqua parking lot and hike up to Gregory Canyon (I’m broke and it saves me $5 until I get my annual OSMP pass), which adds about a half mile each way.
The slog up Green was familiar, to say the least- I’ve hiked this trail 4 times in the past month. I made it to the summit in a bit over an hour, the fastest I’ve ever done it, gassed and ready to go downhill for a change. I ran (literally) down Green and started into the unfamiliar part of the hike, the saddle between Green and Bear and the West Ridge of Bear.
The run was nice. Going downhill is sometimes easier with gravity doing the work, and your legs running to keep up. The saddle was easy and the aspen trees at the bottom need to be revisited when they’re in color. Boulder is lush right now and the trail through the tall grass was nice, despite the growing prospect of thunderstorms.
Bear Peak is aptly named. It was tough. Steep and winding through the trees, then ending with a loose scree field and some summit scrambling, the slog was worth it. It was the highest I’ve been over Boulder: the Suunto says 8330, but it was off when I began the hike. The true elevation is 8,461 feet, according to Protrails.
Running back down the saddle was tiring and I was glad there was only one long climb left before heading downhill. The hike from the West Ridge of Green Mtn. to the car was fast and I was glad to make it back before any rain!
Distance = 11.5 miles, give or take
Total Ascent = 4216 feet over 2:24:20 and 26 ft/min avg
Total descent= 4222 feet over 1:51:33 and 36 ft/min avg
Thanks for looking,