After being almost totally inmersed in the marathon/ultramarathon running world for the most part of the last 4 years in the southeast Texas area I decided to give myself a well deserved break and switch (at least for a little while) to my other passion: mountains. So I planned a familiy vacation/climbing trip similar to the one we did last time in which I would take most mornings to go peakbagging. The plan was to try and climb as many Peaks as possible (weather permitting) within a 12 day span on two main areas in early July: Buena Vista and Lake City.
After arriving to our cabin in Buena Vista from Houston on the evening of Independence day and later on attending the local fireworks display I prepared my gear and went to bed.
Day one, July 5: Mount Massive (southwest slopes)
I drove out to North Halfmoon Creek Trailhead and started hiking at 6:50 AM. I made it ot the summit without any problems after 2 hours and 50 minutes; the trail was snow free and it was a chilly 25 degrees and a little windy up there but sunny, a gorgeous morning. Made it back to my car by noon. That afternoon I felt a mild headache, but that was the only altitude effect that I experienced during our stay.
Summit of Mt. Massive looking south.
The Elks from Massive's summit.
Day two, July 6: Huron Peak (northwest slopes)
I hiked for 3 hours from just outside Winfield and was the first one to summit at 9:00 AM. Thanks to mild temp's, sunny weather and no wind I spent one hour there taking in the superb views. I ran most of the way down and drove out before noon.
The Three Apostles from Huron's Summit
View to the north from Huron
Harvard from Huron.
Day three, July 7: Mt. Harvard (south slopes)
After the short drive from B.V. I started the long hike at 5:30 AM. I made it to the summit first by 10:00 AM and saw the first signs of late morning storms, so I didn't spend much time there after taking some pic's. I saw many people coming up the trail late that morning, I believe that most got wet, I also spotted lightning up there on the drive out; in the end it was an 8 hour round trip.
Huron from Harvard's summit.
On Harvard's Summit looking south.
Columbia from Harvard's summit.
Day four, July 8: Democrat/Lincoln (from Kite lake)
The plan was to hike up Democrat with the family and then go tag Lincoln by myself. But there were problems, first a late arrival to Kite Lake (9:00AM.) after arguing with the workers that were going to tear up the road to perform more repairs to the water pipeline, then my family feeling the effects of the altitude collectively and then more late morning storms. I lost precious minutes trying to keep my kids going but in the end I had to go solo from the Demo/Cam saddle only to have to turn around just above 14,000' with the summit in plain view due to the rapidly approaching thunderstorms that were already engulfing Quandary. Got back down in a hurry but still got a taste of some thunder-sleet near the lake. We had to wait 3 hours for the workers to reopen the road and saw two more storms roll through during that time.
Day five, July 9: Shavano/Tabeguache (east slopes)
I drove to the Blank Gulch trailhead and started the hike at 5:30 AM. The wind was blowing at about 30MPH. above the saddle so I pulled out my jacket. At 9:00 AM. I was the first one on the summit that morning. Thirty minutes later two guys from Boulder joined me and then we procceeded to Tabeguache boulder hopping rather quickly. We tagged that summit 30 minutes later with now gorgeous weather conditions after the winds subsided. After a brief stay there I ran most of the way down once I got off Shavano's broken ridge and was back in my car after a seven and a half hour round trip.
Antero from Shavano's summit
On Tabeguache's summit looking to the north.
On Shavano's summit with Mt. Ouray to the south.
Shavano from Tabeguache's summit
The route from Shavano's summit.
Day six, July 10:
Check out and travel to Durango after stopping at the Black Canyon of the Gunnison N.P..
Day seven, July 11:
Family train ride to Silverton and later travel to Lake City.
The second part of the trip will be a separate report:
Double 14er ultramarathon Part Two: Lake City.