| Mt. Evans - Chicago Creek
After a couple weeks away, it was time to get another 14er done for the summer and I picked Evans to wrap up the Front Range. I left Parker at 2:30 and started down the trail at Echo Lake at 4:30. It was a lot warmer than I was used to and I could smell the smoke from the forest fire up north.
By the time I got to Idaho Springs Resevoir, I was able to turn the head lamp off and shed my top layer as it was warming up already. Almost no wind and in the mid 50's. I coudn't have asked for much better starting conditions
The trails were clean all the way from Echo Lake to the Chicago Lakes. I maybe stepped over 3 trees the entire time, but there was barely any mud, snow, or anything else to obstruct the trail. Thinking about it, I never had to set foot in snow for the duration. I kept a pretty good pace and hit the first of the Chicago Lakes pretty early on before the sun could hit it yet. The first picture is looking down from the ridge by the higher lake. The second is the higher lake in the sun a little while later while climbing out.
After I left the lakes, it was a little frustrating to get up out of the basin and over to summit lake. There was a lot of loose rock that kind of leaves you going 2 steps forward and sliding one back at times. Once I got up and out, I had quite the view of Evans and Summit Lake
I debated going up Spalding and taking the ridge around or walking up Evans Road to take the direct route up the northeast face and ended up taking Spalding up and around. Here's the view of the remaining hike around the ridge just after getting over the top of Spalding.
The trail wasn't too bad to follow on the backside of Evans but there was some boulder hopping too. There wasn't too many people until the switchbacks by the parking lot. Looking out from the Summit, there were good views of Summit Lake, Grays and Torreys, and Bierstadt with the Saw Tooth. A decent amount of detail on other peaks was obscured due to smoke from the fire.
I took the Northeast face as a shorter route for descent. I'm glad I didn't ascend using that route, because one time on there was enough. Around the top, the switchbacks are very short and the trail is filled with very loose rock and dirt. I almost fell countless times and actually did go down twice. The bottom got better as the trail became more grass and soil. Looking back from Evans Road, the clouds had begun to form for the afternoon.
I had become very dehydrated throughout the day. I had drained all three of my bottles before I could even get on top of Evans and was fighting a little bit of sickness by the time I got down to Evans Road. Luckily, after walking back to the Summit Lake parking lot, I was able to get a ride back to Echo Lake with a pair of hikers I had met on top of Spalding. I hope at least one reads this so I can say thanks again. There's no telling how long it would've been to get back down to my car otherwise. Aside from that little hiccup, it was a good, challenging hike. It was a good day out on the trails.
Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):