Disclaimer—This is a preliminary report which I will likely add to with pictures because I’d rather be “doing stuff” with my time in Colorado, than sitting at a computer, but enjoy the video and I hope that this is a bit helpful.This area sees very little use and we saw on two parties during the 3 days that we hiked here, but the views are amazing. The report by Eph 25 is very helpful (urlhttp://www.14ers.com/php14ers/tripreport.php?trip=13721)
Day One—We made it a bit up the 4wd trail until it was too much for my Subaru Forester. Then, we did a bit of bushwacking to connect with the main trail. This is not very thick (not Gore like) or tough bushwacking and there are several unofficial trails with which we connected before hitting the main trail. See details from Eph 25. On our way to setting up camp at Ruby Lake, we put down our packs and hiked up Overlook Point.
Day 2—We followed the ridge lines to the east of Ruby Lake in order to hike up Kennedy Mountain and Aztec Mountain. Kennedy’s false grassy flat summit that you see in the distance from the east tricked us. The actual summit seems to be a rocky summit just past this one. Then, as you continue East towards, Aztec, we were confronted by a ridge that big old RY called “hard class 3” where eph25 turned around. See his report for a picture of it. You have to negotiate 3 rock towers. You pretty much have to go around the 1st two, but the 3rd one, you can go over (big old RY went over it). Initially, I was a bit intimidated (an inexperienced climber), but I was usually able to find relatively easy lines by looking at each obstacle one at a time and several times dropping to the south side of the ridge that was much less steep than the sheer drop on the north side. Once, I just looked at each obstacle, one at a time, I really started enjoying myself.
Then, there is an easy and wide platform to walk on the ridge. Next, there is a class 2 ridge walk with brief narrow sections with a steep drop-off on the north and south sides. big old RY was way ahead of me by the time we reached the 1st hard class 3 section and I think that he did not know if I would continue past it. He is a very fast hiker, in much better shape than me, and a more experienced climber. Plus, I usually like to stop and take pictures etc. He coached me and encouraged me through this final summit walk, since he was excited to see that I did not turn around.
This was an exhausting day with lots of up and down and ankle straining walking on the sides of hills. We saw several large herds of elk and mountain goats.
The Marmots at Ruby Lake are extremely aggressive and chew on everything. They chewed on my foam sit pad and my fishing rod handles. I knew to prop up my hiking poles, but I did not expect my fishing rod handles to have enough salt to attract them.
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