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 Peak(s):  Huron Peak  -  14,003 feet
 Post Date:  08/05/2008
 Date Climbed:   08/01/2008
 Posted By:  Ericjlindy

 Beauty on Huron   

After a restless night of sleeping the alarm went off at 4:45am and I proceeded to compose myself. There's always excitement and anticipation that interferes with sleep the night before hike. I had to be in Leadville to meet Tom and Darren by 6:00am. Since I was coming from Vail, my humble abode during the week for work, I figured it would take 45 minutes to the meeting point. We all connected at the Leadville Safeway (which does not open until 6:30am) and departed to the Huron trailhead.

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I knew it would take some time to get to the parking area from Leadville but I was not expecting the hour it eventually took. We really did not have any difficulty on the rough road to the trailhead in my 4 Runner (I live for the rough roads as a precursor to the hike). We loaded up our gear at the parking area and were on our way by 7:45am. Since it was a shorter hike than most, and because the forecast was warm and dry, we were not concerned about the late departure or consequently the weather.

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In any event, the trail in the woods was a series of several switchbacks that were a little steeper than the average 1000ft per mile.

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We made quick work of the ascent knocking out the first mile in less than an hour, our typical pace. At tree line we soaked in the sun and the views of the Continental Divide to the west that sprawled from north to south.

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After a short carb and hydration break we pressed on above tree line as Huron Peak came into view and the remainder of the route became evident.

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The trail hit a relatively flat plateau at the upper part of the basin which was a short relief from the switchbacks and the ascent. This area was captivating to me as it featured a small creek and a wide expanse of green and an explosion of wild flower color. I went a little crazy with taking pictures as it certainly was a grand time to be in the mountains at elevation.

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The trail left the plateau and steeply stair-stepped to the upper basin which led to, yes more switchbacks.

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After another short fuel stop and what seemed like 50 turns, we reached the ridge. The wind unexpectedly picked up which actually felt refreshing as we proceeded to the final section of the route.

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The summit ridge migrated steeply through the rocks leading to a false summit before extending to the true summit.

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We topped out at approximately 11am and spent what seemed like an hour on top soaking in the views.

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We snapped our summit shots, had some lunch and carried on several "guy talk" conversations on the summit. I won't elaborate on the topics to keep the trip report rated for all viewers.

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We started our decent around noon and arrived back at the trail head at about 2:30 and immediately downed a cold one (thanks to Darren for the forethought on the beers).

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We then took off for Denver and the 100 degree heat which was an adventure in itself given the crazy drivers all over the place.

I have to say, and both Tom and Darren agree that Huron is indeed one of the more picturesque fourteeners from top to bottom. We truly enjoyed the views along the entire route and especially the summit. It's relatively tucked away by 14er accessibility standards. This offers views that are truly spectacular especially the west views of the Divide and the Elks.

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This was certainly enhanced by the clear and calm weather we enjoyed. Chalk up #20.



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