And We're off!
After my long holdover during the winter season I was totally itching to get out and do some more Colorado sightseeing. Why not San luis? It's remote, beautiful and relatively easy! (And free of snow!) Since this was my first peak of the season, I wasn't expecting to finish too briskly. I was also excited to learn of my wife's desire to accompany me on this hike. We left on Friday the 18th and arrived at the Stewart Creek TH that evening, and found an awesome camp spot about a quarter of a mile above the actual TH. We awoke at "It's freaking four o'clock" says my wife, and took our time eating breakfast and drinking coffee. We started hiking at 515am and we were both quickly reminded of why we do this.
Early Morning start on San Luis
My Wife and Einstein trying to wake up
The miles seemed very easy and were picturesque. I was half expecting a beaver to walk across the trail dragging his hard earned bundle.
One of many beaver ponds along the way
My dog Einstein was still trying to figure out why were we up so early!
Why won't you let me sleep in!
Early in the morning during our hike we experienced an interesting phenomenon, a very warm breeze mixed with much cooler air. It's hard to explain but it felt good! It almost felt like just before you step into a suana when the hot air rushes out at you, pretty cool anyway.
Amanda puts on the chapstick
If you look you can see the shadows of the multiple levels of ponds as you progressively move up the valley
After crossing through a fence we came upon a cool cabin. I love these old buildings and always get a sense of the history of where we hike/live. I can't imagine how wonderful it would be to be able to live here!
Cool old cabin
Shortly afterward we arrived at Stewart Creek
After you ford the creek for a second time, the trail starts to get a little steeper, but at this point I am still fooled that I am on a 14er. As you exit the trees you finally get to see where your journey ends. Don't be fooled by the very large, very prominent peak that lies in front of you, Baldy Alta is the name.
San Luis is almost directly in the center of the photo, and has a large snowfield near the summit. Baldy Alta is the peak that is obscured by trees.
Finally we arrive at the upper basin, and we see that progress is being made, especially for Amanda. This being her first hike of the season it was tough with the four miles hiked in. With the elevation gained slowly adding up and knowing that she had to go back, ultimately she decided to stop and enjoy her accomplishment. Amanda knew the forecast, thus she insisted that I continue on. The dog on the other hand wasn't very patient, and wanted to hike with me. (Later he would regret)
The upper basin. I'm pretty sure those twin peaks way off include Mt. Ouray.
Einstein and I continued up,up and up!
Almost to the top of the saddle
Once we arrived at the top of the saddle, we made quick work of the remaining ridge, and there wasn't any snow to speak of except a few little snowfields which were easily avoidable. There was one however that someone had to play in!
Einstein playing the snow, almost there little guy!
We can hear the hoopla of the summiters nearby which is always a strong motivation!
Our little Cairn Terrier kicks total butt! It's so funny too because there were a few people that called him an "old girl", which he is only 2 years old! But in their defense he does need to be groomed.
Summit Success! Wetterhorn, Uncompahgre and Sneffles can be seen in this photo if you look close enough
This was Einstein's second 14er, and my 46th, but it was just as fun as my first. I love the support I get from Amanda, and the heart that I get from my little dog. Einstein is still sleeping as I type this report, and Amanda is bummed that she didn't finish but is anxious to get that first summit success of the season.
We were both excited to have hike our first 14er of the season and there is no better way to celebrate than to have..........
A foo-foo beer and a roaring fire!
By the way, we didn't see any darn moose out there but we did see one on the way home, go figure! This was our first wild moose sighting and it was a blast!
Moose near the summit of Kenosha pass
And we did take a wrong turn off of HWY 50, and found ourselves looking at..........
A Caribou! In the famous words of Bugs Bunny, "I think I took a wrong turn at Albuqurque!!"
This was a fun and enjoyable hike, I hope everyone out there has a safe hiking season and has an enjoyable one.