Start Time: 10:30 AM
End Time: 1:30 PM
Total Time: 3 Hours
Distance: 5 Miles
Elevation Gain: 2000'
This trip included my roommate Cody and his work friend James. After Quandary this is their 2nd 14er, making this route a perfect one for continuing their progress into mountain climbing.
We paid the fee, and ended up parking outside of the fee zone on Mount Evans road just south of the Summit Lake fee area. The "Wildlands Restoration Volunteers" trail crew was hard at work building fences and improving the trail around the summit lake area. They gave us a pack of Black-Eyed Susan seeds and we began our hike.
Although this hike is rather short and the elevation gain isn't anything to write home about, the climb up to Mount Spalding takes you by surprise because of the unusually high-elevation starting point.
Mount Spalding is easy to miss. When we "summited" I couldn't find anything else on the horizon that looked like it was Spalding so I had to verify from other hikers than the high point we were standing on was indeed Spalding.
A rather underwhelming summit experience of my 8th 13er was conciliated by a brief conversation with another experienced hiker about the Sangre De Cristo's.
Evans from Mount Spalding
Shortly after this the trail intersects the trail coming from Bierstadt/Sawtooth, and I reassured the group we were within a mile of the summit.
We stayed on the standard trail for a bit, but decided to gain the ridge early to summit "West Evans" and were surprised by the exposure on the North side.
After the West Evans summit the others went back to the trail, and contrary to my other Evans trips I decided to keep the ridge and boulder hop over to the summit. There were good solid boulders on the ridge with decent exposure where I practiced my "leap of faith" for my hopeful future ascents of Sunlight and Pyramid.
"West Evans" and Grays and Torreys in background
Proper summit from near "West Evans"
The three of us met at the summit to snap some which wich photos. As always we derived some guilty entertainment from the tourists - especially the ones who get out of their car and slap on their camelbacks and grab their hiking poles to push up that final pitch from the parking lot!
We climbed down the Northeast face/ridge and after a bit of jogging were back to the car just under 3 hours.
38 peaks above 13,000'
95,050' Elevation Gain
Cody and I discussed how awesome it would be to do some snow climbing with ice axe and crampons / microspikes so there should be more to come for quite a while!