| Solitude in The Sawatch
Fall Foliage in Winfield
“Autumn, the year's last, loveliest smile.”
-William Cullen Bryant
Huron Peak was a first for me. Not a first 14er, not a first summit in The Sawatch, or anything like that. It was my first summit with a sibling. Long overdue, my sister Katie and I planned a trip to The Little Brother of The Sawatch, Huron Peak. And for the second weekend in a row, my roommate, Jake, would accompany me on a Sawatch Peak, while my other roommate, Ben would stay home and catch some z's.
Matt Payne had offered me an alternate way to do Huron earlier this year which can be found here. I continued to do some more research and found a trip report mikemalick had posted last summer, here, that included some extra 13ers. Here's a view of the route:
A poor visual representation of our route
We left Golden at 3 and cruised into Leadville by 4:30. We were making good time, and were almost to the trailhead when a car that had been flashing his brights at me going the opposite direction turned on his bright blue and red lights. D'oh. I was only 8 over and this cop is going to give me a ticket?? Oh man, the rumors were true! These cops just need to fill a quota!
The officer walked up and inquisitively asked, "Do you just have really bright lights?." I was confused at first, but said "I think so, there's not much of a difference between my brights and my regular lights." I did a formal presentation of "brights" and "not brights" for him, and he simply replied, "Alright, just wanted to make sure you're dimming your brights. Have a good morning!" and he was gone. Just like that! No license, no registration, nothing. Just a nice, polite police officer. I really appreciate what those guys do and this experience only strengthens my graciousness. Probably because I didn't get a ticket, but hey, that's besides the point.
We cruised our way up past Clear Creek Reservoir in great time and made it to Winfield at about 5:30. I knew we weren't going to drive all the way up the 4WD road, but I wasn't exactly sure where to turn off. We just pulled off to the left of the road and parked the X-terra. It was pitch black out, so we didn't really have any idea where we were. But I figured we could just follow the road up the trailhead, and find our car along the road at the end of the day.
With our headlamps on we locked up the car and were immediately greeted with a bugling Elk that echoed throughout the valley. I'm not positive it was an Elk, but I was hoping it was an Elk and not a velociraptor.
It was a crisp 30 degrees as we raced along the road to the trailhead
Jake, myself, and Katie; Bright eyed and bushy tailed
Walking through the forest was extremely pleasant. It had a nice even slope and the views of the rising sun kept us entertained and distracted
Making our way up the slopes
The winding trail up Huron
While going up the slopes, Katie asked me if there are any mountain goats up here, but what I heard was "are there any mountain ghosts up here?". I said I hadn't heard of any recent stories of mountain ghosts in the area, so I presumed they weren't a problem around here. We would later disprove this presumption...
Huron's reflection in the icy pool
We gradually made our way up the final ridge of Huron and only saw three people the whole time. We basked in the sun's rays alone on the summit. The views gorgeous 360 degrees around.
Apostles and wave after wave of Sawatch Peaks
Summit to ourselves
Handless Summit Photo
From the Huron Summit, we could see our route the rest of the way down; cross to Browns, cross to PT 13,462, then cross down the old mining road
View of Huron's impressive East face
Summit registry of Browns with Huron in the backround
View West from PT 13,462
Descending PT 13,462(L) with Huron (Center) and Browns Peak (Right of Center)
Clouds coming in over the aspens
We made our way down the old mining road and zig zagged through the forest back to the main road. Fall once again makes hiking through the forest very enjoyable, even after a long day
Our road down
On our way back though, we ran into the sign that proved there are Mountain Ghosts in the area. We made sure to speed back to the car to avoid seeing any of them
Snowmobiles and... Mountain Ghosts!
This Huron loop was a pleasure to hike and I'm glad I could appreciate it alongside my older sister and summit partner. Another great day in The Rocky Mountains
Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):