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 Peak(s):  Huron Peak  -  14,003 feet
 Post Date:  07/14/2012
 Date Climbed:   07/14/2012
 Posted By:  docfrance

 We're on Huron!        

Five of us left COS in two cars this morning at about 0355 and arrived at the trailhead just before 0700. The 4WD road from Winfield was pasable in our two Jeeps and by many SUVs, and there was a Subaru in the parking area, but I don't know how it made it. Most other lower clearance vehicles were parked farther down the road. I would NOT recommend the 4WD road for anything but a 4WD with excellent clearance,
I was surprised by the number of vehicles in the parking area so early and the number of campers along the 4WD road. Several groups started just before us, but we were on the trail at 0705. Temps were mild and the trail was in excellent shape due to rains the day before. The lower part of the trail, in fact, is so lush that it reminded us of the Pacific Northwest. It’s also one of my favorite trails just for the quality of footing, the forest, and the flowers.
We made good time, passing several groups along the way and making it to the pond and meadow in just about an hour. We paused for a few pictures and then headed up the steep but well-built trail from the pond characterized by many well-laid staircase rocks and boulders. The flowers just go better above treeline, too. We had occasional breezes but nothing serious. We had high clouds that signaled a lot of moisture in the air and so we wanted to summit quickly before any thunderstorms developed.
The trail is easy to follow and the fellow hikers we met on the way were very cordial. There is some slipping near the top on some loose soil and rocks in the steeps, but it’s not too bad—especially if you have hiking poles.
We summited at 0915 and were greeted with calm winds, temps in the low 50s and great views. The clouds started to clear somewhat and our patience was rewarded with still better views. We ended up staying on the summit for almost an hour before heading down shortly after 1000.
The descent was uneventful except for a few raindrops and rolls of thunder that commenced well before 1100. The clouds moved in quickly and I imagine that the summit was not a nice place to be after that time. Still, many hikers were still heading up the mountain from the pond after that time.
We took some time to take more flower pictures and arrived at the parking area at 1210 for some refreshment. Nothing new about the hike—just a great day on a mountain with a superb trail and great views. This was my third attempt and second summit of Huron. It remains one of my favorites. (I saved all of the pics for the end. You can see all 200+ at my website here
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My GPS Tracks on Google Maps (made from a .GPX file upload):




Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
 


  • Comments or Questions (5)
emohr


Sweet pictures     2012-07-15 08:13:26
Good mix of wildflowers and landscape. Looks like you had a good time!


mtn_ascent


Stone IPA and Huron....     2012-07-15 11:05:15
Two of my favorites. Excellent photos of a great hike.


docfrance


Summit Soda     2012-07-15 11:22:21
Summit sodas are a staple of our climbs. You're always lighter on the descent--in more ways than one.


greenwok


Love at first sight!     2012-07-15 12:17:26
Huron was my first 14er - June 2005, didn't have a clue what I was doing and I just loved it! Fantastic photography - and looks like plenty of hikers that day. I recall a large snowfield to cross when I did it, which speaks this year to a) how warm it has been and b) how little snow we received - congrats on the summit! Cheers!


Derek


VERY nice photos     2012-07-15 21:17:47
Really like #4 and #7. Thanks for posting.



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