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 Peak(s):  Huron Peak  -  14,003 feet
Browns Pk  -  13,523 feet
 Post Date:  07/13/2008
 Date Climbed:   07/09/2008
 Posted By:  djrunner

 Huron-Took a wrong turn-Be careful   

We left Denver around 5:00 and began hiking around 7:45 AM. We had decided we would hike the 4-wheel drive road, even though Matt had a 4wd, high clearance vehicle. A 4 mile round trip just didn't seem worth driving 5 hours total for. We figured, if we drove the 4wd road, we would end up driving longer than we hiked. This did not appeal to us, so we decided to go for a short, 8 mile hike.
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We decided to try out the new backpack on Boo, the dog. Previously, we could not balance it out. It kept falling down to his belly. He seemed fine, so we let him carry his water and his boots. This was nice for me.
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I am glad I did not attempt to drive my car, and go up the 4wd road. I would not reccomend it for any passenger vehicles. It was rocky and really requires high clearence.

We began the ascent. It was fine.
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The road seemed rediculous for even 4wd vehicles. It was steep with very shapre switchbacks. After a while we saw a fork in the road. We pulled out Gerry's book to find out where to go. It mentioned a fork at .4, and at 1.7 miles. We didn't think we were only at .4 miles. It was difficult to figure out, so we went right. We figured the road to the left was the Banker Mine road. Based on the normal one mile per hour uphill pace, I estimated that we had probably gone 1-1.5 miles. Perhaps we were going fast. Either that or Gerry was wrong! I also printed the 14ers.com description. It corellated with Gerry. We trusted that we needed to go to the right. As we were looking for the gate and sign at the end of the 4wd road, the road began narrowing out and slowly dissappearing. When we saw the tree sticking up through the middle of the road, we knew we were no longer on the 4wd road. We just were anticipating a much better trailhead and parking lot, like I had seen on 14ers.com when I was reading about it the night before. Oh well, perhaps it was a different peak.

Below is a picture of Boo looking confused because of the dissapearing road.
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We met a few other people. Two of which were following us because they assumed we knew what we were doing. Turns out, we were lost. We later realized that we missed the first turn off on the 4wd trail. There was a fork at .4 miles. To the right there was a sign with a camping symbol on it pointing right. We assumed it was a small turn off to some campsights. We headed up the mountain by taking the left fork. We later realized that the road was the right of the fork. If you are planning on taking this trail, be careful of this. At the first fork, which comes up quickly, turn right. you will see the camping symbol. That is the direction you want to go.

At any rate, we had no place to go. The road dissapeared. We decided to head up the mountain through the gulley.
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This was a difficult task. It was steep and loose. We also felt bad about treading on the vegetation. However, we stuck to the rocks as much as possible. As we neared the top, we could see where we were. Brown's Peak was in front of us, and we could see Huron. Below is a picture of Brown's Peak.
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Huron Peak from the same spot.
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We reached the top of some nub, and met a guy named Jaime. He asked if we wanted to join him up Brown's and over to Huron. We obliged. We took a break for a few minutes at the nub.
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We summitted Brown's Peak and traversed to Huron in less than an hour. It was relatively easy after heading up the gulley.

We summitted huron around 11:30. Not bad for going the wrong way.
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The rest of the way down was simple. We realized there was an easy trail we could follow.
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We followed the trail to a beautiful meadow of flowers with a snow melt creek flowing through and mountains in the background.
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Later Boo posed.
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Here is Jaime, Matt, and Boo looking back up the trail.
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We have reached treeline!
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On the way back on the 4wd road we came across water running over the road. Our feet were hot, swollen, and growing blisters. I decided to walk through the water. It was the best decision I have ever made. The cold water felt so good. Thank goodness we only had a few hundred feet till we reached the car. Boo enjoyed the cool water as well.
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Overall, it was fun! We stopped for burgers at the Golden Burro in Leadville on our way home. Delicious!



Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
 


  • Comments or Questions (1)
aaronjdvm


same mistake     2008-07-14 13:55:05
My wife and I made the exact same mistake the following morning. Missed the tiny sign for Huron while driving to the trailhead. Realized at the end of the road where we were. Began the trek up Brown‘s with our 10 month old daughter and my father-in-law. We were planning on making the traverse, but turned around as the trail became loose. We tried to drive to the Huron trailhead and make the climb, only to stop at the basin of Huron due to lack of time. Frustrating to say the least. Congrats on making the summit, though! Looks like you had a good day.



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