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 Peak(s):  "Golden Bear Pk"  -  13,010 feet
 Post Date:  06/04/2013 Modified: 12/02/2013
 Date Climbed:   05/27/2013
 Posted By:  Jon Frohlich

 Back up high on a beautiful day   

Date: May 27, 2013
Route: Dry Gulch with Loveland descent
Distance: ~ 7 miles
Gain: ~ 2400 feet
Start Time: 8:15
Finish Time: 1:30
Partner: Maya (dog)

(the lens cover on my P&S camera has been getting stuck so some of the pictures have a black triangle in the corners)

My life has been a bit of a whirlwind for the last year. Among other things I started a new relationship, injured my ankle, sold a house, bought a house, took big trips to Canada and Australia, and adopted two dogs. Things have been wonderful but it didn't leave much time for new mountains.

On Monday the opportunity came to get back up high and do something new. I wanted something relatively easy and uncrowded since I hadn't been above 13k in almost a year and also something that would be safe for one of the dogs to do with me. We adopted Maya with the intention of taking her on most of our hikes. I had done a lot of hikes in the foothills and around 11k with her and figured it was time to see how she did with something a bit higher. She is a cattle dog / border collie mix and roughly 2 years old so energy level is not a concern. She can go forever and never seems to get tired. Golden Bear seemed to fit the criteria with a possible extension to Hagar if it looked safe. We headed out from the house and drove up to the Loveland ski area planning to start from the parking lot. The ski area was supposed to be closed but apparently they had opened up a lift for the day for an event so the parking lot was full of kids and parents. I decided that starting from there might not be the best idea so we got back in the car and drove over to Dry Gulch instead.

At 8:15 we started heading up Dry Gulch. A few other cars were parked at the gate but as we headed up the valley we saw no one. We occasionally followed the trail as we headed up but fairly quickly the route became continuous snow and it was easier to just pick the best looking route. Winding through the trees seemed to take forever but eventually we arrived in the open bowl between Hagar and Golden Bear. We headed straight up the bowl and then picked our way up lower angle slopes to eventually connect to the ridge between Golden Bear and Trelease.

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Around 12,000 feet the altitude started slowing us both down. We met a pair of skiers coming off Golden Bear and briefly talked to them before heading up the last 1000 feet to the summit.

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After roughly 3 hours and 15 minutes we made the summit and joined a pair of skiers on the top. The summit was a bit windy but overall the weather was beautiful and it felt great to sit up on top of a 13er again. I looked over to Hagar and decided that with all the snow and the dog it wasn't a good idea to head that direction.

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After a brief stay so both of us could eat something I decided that heading back down through the ski area would be simpler than winding our way back through Dry Gulch again. I was also worried that all the snow in the trees was softening and the postholing might be a nightmare. Instead we headed south off Golden Bear and looked for a good way down. We found a nice ridge heading down and then angled toward Lift 8 before heading down under the lift line back to the parking lot. Postholing was minimal and I never felt the need to use my snowshoes.

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We used the tunnel under I-70 and walked through the base area before walking back down the highway to Dry Gulch. This was the worst part of the day and both of us were ready to be back at the car. Our route back down was a lot easier but a mile of walking along the highway isn't much fun. Overall a great day. Maya did a great job on her first 13er and it felt great for me to do a peak again.



Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
 


  • Comments or Questions
nkan02


very cool     2013-06-04 15:27:22
to see Loveland in off season. Looks like you picked a beautiful day for a hike


Brian Thomas


Back up high     2013-06-04 18:37:37
You should get back up high every weekend. Getting high will help your brain deal with that whirlwind.


boudreaux


Where's Arni?     2013-06-05 08:10:16
Congrats on your climb of Golden Bear! Climbed it much the same way you did, still have an old boundary pole in the trunk of my car. When my lense cover is messing up, the picture looks sorta like taking a picture through some seriously jagged teeth!



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