| Mt. Evans via Mt. Spalding
After I accomplished ascending Grays Peak and Torreys Peak as my first 14ers the previous day, my next target was Mt. Evans.
As you know, the easiest way to reach the summit of Mt. Evans is to walk 5-10 minutes from a parking that is right below the summit. But (I believe) most of hikers who love hiking know other ways to enjoy the natural amphitheater made by Mt. Evans, Mt. Spalding and Summit Lake.
The route I selected was to ascend Mt. Evans via Mt. Spalding from Summit Lake and to descend the northeast face of Mt .Evans to return to the Summit Lake. This route may be appropriate for my level of a few experiences in 14ers and the physical strength of average 48 year old business man, plus nice view could be expected too.
1. Course time
6:00 Arrived at parking of Summit Lake
6:15 Walk out
7:10 Arrived at summit of Mt. Spalding. (10 minutes rest)
8:10 Rest at the south face of the Mt. Evans. (10 minutes rest)
9:00 Arrived at summit of Mt. Evans
10:00 Left the summit of Mt. Evans
10:50 Came across route 6
11:00 Arrived at Summit Lake
2. Hiking Report
On Aug 25th, 2008, I left a Motel in Lakewood at 4:40am and arrived at Summit Lake at 6:00.
I had to park several hundred feet before the Summit Lake Park, because it was under construction.
I walked to the north end of the Summit Lake and took the east ridge of Mt. Spalding. I wrote my name on a register card there.
In 15-20 minutes, the trail was traversing on the left face of the ridge. It was not difficult to follow the trail.
I saw several goats jumping on and down the rocks near the ridge. They are real specialists of walking and running on rocks. They can probably run by handstanding on rocks too.
The route went on the ridge and it became slightly difficult to find the trail because it was often unclear, but I just headed to the summit of Mt. Spalding that I saw ahead.
I reached the summit of Mt. Spalding at 7:10. My legs were a little tired because of the previous day's hiking at Grays Peak and Torreys Peaks.
The view of mountains in the south was very nice. The most eye-watching view in the east was Mt. Evans's west ridge and its rock faces cutting down from the ridge to Summit Lake.
(View of Mt. Evans from Mt. Spalding)
After 10 minutes rest, I went down to the Evans-Spalding saddle, and then route was going to the flat area, which is gently sloping toward the hump on the west end of the Mt. Evans west ridge. The trail was unclear in this vast flat area where is covered by rocks, mosses and grasses (and remaining snows in places). I followed a series of cairns, which is spotted in places to lead me to the right route. If hikers would be folded by thick mist in this area, they might lose their way.
(View from Evans-Spalding saddle)
(Grays Peak and Torreys Peak from Evans-Spalding saddle)
(Mt. Spalding from Evans-Spalding saddle)
After I came to the end of the flat area, there was a small gap, which (I think) was at the west end of Mt. Evans west ridge. From the bottom of the gap, I went down a little to the right once and then took traversing on a steep rocky face which was falling down from the west ridge.
I followed a series of cairns there too. I enjoyed wonderful view of the south during the traverse. Mt. Bierstadt right over there was good reference to know an elevation where I was.
(Mt. Bierstadt from the traverse of Mt. Evans south face.)
It took about 30 minutes to traverse including 10 minute rest. After that, I went through less rocky area for several minutes. When I saw a paved road on right hand, the summit of Mt. Evans was soon to be reached. I reached the summit at 9:00.
The weather was very fine and very comfortable.
The scenery from the summit was as if it was covering all of the mountains in Colorado. In the south, west and north, many series of mountains were continuing to farther and vanishing at horizon with mist. In the east, there was a series of mountains, which was getting to lower and mixed into the human area.
Impressive Grays Peak and Torreys Peaks that I went previous day headed up over the other mountains in the west.
From a rock under my feet that I was standing on, perspicuous rock face and fierce gullies of the north face were vertically cutting down to the Summit Lake, and vast wetland followed over there which gave me calmness and comfort.
(The route view of the day from Mt. Evans)
(Grays Peak and Torreys Peak from Mt. Evans.)
(At summit of Mt. Evans)
I spent 1 hour at the summit, enjoying good weather, wonderful view and chatting with visitors who came up by car.
I left the summit at 10:00 and went down to the summit parking once and entered a trail on the northeast face to go down toward the route 6 .
The slope was slightly steep. I could enjoyed the view opening in front of me. The trail was covered with stones and soils at first, but it changed to moss and grass with small streams.
(View of downward from the northeast face)
(View of descending route of the northeast face)
My descend of this slope finished at the route 6 at 10:50. I tromped on the road and arrived at Summit Lake at 11:00.
The scenery from Summit Lake was eye-catching very much. The contrast of calmness of the Summit Lake and fierceness of the rock face of Mr. Evans gave me a big impression.
(Mt. Evans and Mt. Spalding from Summit Lake)
This route might be a slightly difficult in its route findings compared with the standard route of Grays Peak and Torreys Peak that I had previous day. But I could trace a series of cairns in some areas where trails were unclear. This route was very comfortable and enjoyable for me, because it was not long, not so much elevation difference from the start to the top, easy to access to the Summit Lake and to see wonderful views.
Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):