Starting the day off right. Echo Lake trailhead 29 June 2008
Pat Costigan and Mike Dobies applying sunscreen before starting our hike to Mount Evans
On the Chicago Lakes trail on the way to Mount Evans
Mike and Pat after we signed in.
Idaho Springs reservoir on the way up the Chicago Lakes trail
The first false summit, right before Chicago Lakes
With Pat in between the two lakes. Pat was probably making a comment about Mike ;-)
With Mike in the same location as the last photo; Mike, as always, was not phased by Pat's comments...
The three amigos at the Summit Lake trailhead. A woman wearing a Washington Nationals baseball cap (who, we found out, was from Virginia) was kind enough to take the photo; she said her husband and son were both runners so Mike and I told her about the VHTRC. The lake in the background is where the previous two photos were taken. Mike was on his cell phone the entire time we climbed from there to here...I won't repeat what Pat or I said about that ;^)
Mike leads the way up toward Mt Spalding, on the cirque, ascending to Mount Evans
A cairn or a 'random' stack of rocks? The one on top is obvious, but what about the rest?
Taking a break, waiting for Pat, who would not be slow after this day
Abyss Lake, visible while on the ridge between Mt Spalding and the summit of Mount Evans
Mike taking his last step onto the top of the world! O.K. how about the 14th highest point in Colorado?
Was this an oops or did Mike really mean to take a picture of my shoes? At least they are standing on the summit of Mt Evans 14,264
On the summit of Mt Evans 29 June 2008
On our way back to Echo Lake trailhead
There was a clearing (actually an avalanche chute) so I took a photo...quite impressive stuff, especially for a flatlander
Another view from the same clearing
Back at Echo Lake trailhead, getting ready to head for the next day's starting site (with a shower and dinner on the way)
Starting the Democrat, (Cameron, though it "doesn't count" as a 'real' 14er because of it's close proximity to Lincoln) Lincoln, and Bross trip from the Kite Lake trailhead 30 June 2008
Looking back toward Kite Lake, the cars can be seen at the trailhead off in the distance...
Fun obstactles to negotiate on the hike.
Pat leading, Mike following and me lagging. As the sun started to rise it was actually warm enough for short sleeves (it was much colder at the start)
Interesting snow field below the ridge between Democrat and Cameron
The same snowfield viewed from a little higher up
Mike Dobies on Mt Democrat
On the summit of Mt Democrat 29th highest point in Colorado - 14,148
It was quite a bit colder ascending the mountain, and windier too. Looking at the views, however, made it all worth it.
Pat Costigan on Mt Democrat. Pat, of course, doesn't seem as affected by the cold...
Pat says 'come on, finish taking my picture already!'
The three of us on Democrat. This photo was taken by a group of college-age looking kids. We took their photo with their camera - a win-win for both groups.
Mike ascending the ridge between the saddle and Mt Cameron
On the ridge, ascending Cameron, looking back toward Mt
Almost to Cameron. Is Mike looking tired? As I later found out (at Hardrock) Mike was just pacing himself this trip and letting me get over anxious and not taper properly (alright, I admit it, he is in much better shape than I; even with two whole months of training missed this spring due to injury!)
Pat and Mike on the flat between Cameron and Mt Lincoln
Looking back down the summit ridge from Mt Lincoln
On the summit of Mt Lincoln, 14,286, 8th highest point in Colorado
Mike on the summit of Mt Lincoln, Pat thinking he can hide
Pat on the summit of Mt Lincoln
Pat, imagining he had skiis. I'm sure he would have just shredded down the snow field (if he didn't buy it, first...that thing was steep!)
Once again, the fine group takes a photo of the rough-looking group, this time on Mt Lincoln
The rough-looking group on Mt Bross, 14,172 and the 22nd highest point in Colorado
We picked up a few more in our group. I am standing with more ultrarunning and adventuring experience here than I could have ever imagined. Mike, Craig Wilson, Bill Losey and Pat at the Avalanche Gulch trailhead, ready to head up Mt Yale 1 July 2008
An interesting skull-on-a-tree.
Bill signing us in
Mike, Pat and Craig pausing. I can't remember if they were laughing until they cried or just pausing to catch their breath...
Rainbow Lake, off to our right, as we ascended the Colorado Trail, on the way to Yale's East Face
Bill was leading, Mike close behind, on the way to Mt Yale (could that be it in the distance?)
Craig and Pat not far behind, Rainbow Lake in the background
Nice trail blaze...I didn't think they were there for target practice! Hopefully no bullets will be flying while we are on the trail!
Bullet holes AND graffitti - nice going, people!
The lead group was stopped on the trail, I was able to take this photo and barely see what they were looking at. So this is why there were bullet holes...
Ascending the ridge just past the turn off of the Colorado Trail (which we missed at first...) Pat pausing for a photo while Mike follows)
On the ridge just before point 13,420.
Looking back down the ridge from the same point.
On the flat just past point 13,420, the ridge to the summit looms ahead (and the clouds are starting to look a bit threatening...)
Bill and Pat pausing before the final push to the summit
Looking back at the flat and a group of backpackers we had just passed.
Craig following close behind, it was his first day at altitude (he had just arrived minutes before we started for the day)
The same three amigos from the previous few days. On the summit of Mt Yale, 14,196 - 21st highest point in Colorado
Craig joins us at the summit, happy to be here!
Due to the weather (which doesn't look so bad in this photo, but there were some boomers off in the distance) and the gnarly nature of the ridge we had just ascended, we decided to descend the trail to the Denny Creek trailhead
Descending Mt Yale
Bill taking a photo of me taking a photo of Bill taking a photo...
Pat wanted to add to some of the cairns we saw, so I did too. Pat made it a competition to see who could add the smallest rock - clearly, Pat wins.
Mike leading the way down, almost to treeline, yeah!
Pat and Craig try to descend faster than Bill, who has his hands in the air (I'm not sure he was yelling or chanting something at this point...)
Pat contemplating the real estate possibilities ("...'rustic' cabin in scenic Colorado mountains...")
At the Missouri Gulch trailhead, ready to ascend Mt Belford and Mt Oxford 2 July 2008. Bill and Craig head out.
Mike, Bill, Pat and Craig make their way up the trail from Missouri Gulch
Sunlight filters through the trees on Missouri Creek
Bill further up the Missouri Gulch trail
Bill hiding in the trees
Mike found a Golf tee...on a trail going up a 14er!
Pat trying to sell more real estate to the group...Mike and Bill consider it while Craig just laughs...
Mike says "I'll Take It!"; Craig and I just shake our heads. Pat says 'cha ching!'
The Northwest flank of Mt Belford
Mike leading the group further up Missouri Gulch. Pat, Bill and Craig just finished the snow traverse
Mike says "I'll take it" again, I guess Pat sold him the mountain too...Bill looks at a rock, maybe he found evidence of some extraterrestrial civilization
Looking back down Missouri Gulch
Following the trail up Mt Belford, Pat is starting to get ahead very quickly
Mike converses with some other hikers on the way to Mt Belford summit.
Looking back down toward Missouri Gulch (lower left of frame) from just below Mt Belford summit
Mt Belford summit (thank you Mister Obvious)
Mike on Mt Belford summit
On Mt Belford summit.
Craig catching up, almost there...
Mike and Bill on Mt Belford summit
Craig just a few steps away from the summit. He had already decided to turn around here instead of continuing to Mt Oxford
Our group (minus Pat, who was already on his way to Mt Oxford) on the summit of Mt Belford
Just above the saddle between Belford and Oxford, Mt Belford at the right of the ridge in the middle of frame
Summit of Mt Oxford (thank you again, Mister Obvious)
Mike, almost to the summit of Mt Oxford
Mike getting closer...
Bill, Mike and I on the summit of Mt Oxford
Nice contour model at the trailhead showing where we went today
More information on the hike
Elevation profile of the hike
Nice map of the Collegiate Peaks Wilderness Area. This trailhead had some really good information, particularly the advice at the right...
A pilot friend told me that the Leadville airport is the highest altitude public airport in the country. He also mentioned that they would give anybody who landed there a certificate if they asked for it
Billy showing his extremely good taste: Tommyknocker beer!
Mike with Gary Knipling. Gary had a motel room in Leadville and was nice enough to let us use the shower in his room - it saved each of us at least a dollar or two. He had even bought some snacks for us! What a guy; those VHTRC folks are a cool crowd to hang around with.
Pat, Bill and some slacker hanging around drinking a few cold beverages in Gary's room. Note Gerry Roach's book - it was a valuable guide. I highly recommend it (and the companion map book which has each map on its own individual page, much lighter than carrying the entire book.)
Gary Knipling at the Mt Massive trailhead 3 July 2008
Bill Losey at the Mt Massive trailhead 3 July 2008
Gary, Pat, Mike and Bill heading toward the Mt Massive trail
The trail we are on is actually the Colorado trail. A few miles after leaving the trailhead, the Mt Massive trail turns left, off of the CT
On the Mt Massive trail, after turning off of the CT
A nice meadow, on the Mt Massive trail, after turning off of the CT
Mt Massive trail going through a meadow right near treeline. Mt Massive is visible in the distance
On the Mt Massive trail, looking towards Leadville
Pat, Bill, Mike and Gary further up the Mt Massive ascent. Looking towards Leadville
We are heading to the right of the saddle, just past the upper edge of the snowfield.
Hmmm, it looks like somebody (or something) has glissaded this snow field. That might be worth looking into on the way down...
Another shot of the group, still further up the trail to Mt Massive
This is the upper end of the snowfield noted a few photos ago. Bill is just visible below the ridge.
Bill, Gary and Mike just below the summit ridge (still a ways to go at this point)
Pat and Gary surveying the landscape from the summit of Mt Massive
Mike and Bill on the summit of Mt Massive, looking back toward the rocky ridge we just climbed
Gary, Pat, Bill, Mike and I on the summit of Mt Massive
Pesky Marmot waiting for a handout. It was clear that this guy was way too accustomed to Humans...
Remember the snowfield that was pointed out a few photos ago? Well, it WAS a blast to glissade down. Just make sure you don't try this at home without adult supervision, alright kids?
On the way back down. That snowfield doesn't look quite as big from this far away. Gary and I both started shuffling here - Mike just walked along and kept catching up to us...
Look at the hillside and what do you see? Could be Elk laying on the ground or just a trick of the shadows of the rocks...you decide.
Gary arriving back at the trailhead less than a minute after I did. We both made it in the time we said we would after Mike told us he didn't think we would make it back that fast...