Peak(s):  Audubon, Mt  -  13,223 feet
Date Posted:  05/18/2014
Modified:  05/19/2014
Date Climbed:   05/18/2014
Author:  goingup
 I almost forgot what 8,000+ feet feels like...  

I'm backkkkkkkkkkkkkkk (you probably don't even know who I am). Where did we leave off? Mid-January, with the Crestone Needle royal boning followed by a lovely day on Elbert. Since then responsibility has tried to suck the soul right out of my body. Good thing trail running kicks so much ass. I bided my time by charging up and down the Jefferson County Mountains all winter long. I wonder if I remember how to write a trip report? Witty banter with a splash of sarcasm, lots of beautiful mountain shots, give some good advice (or at least try), and make it look like I am sort of, kind of, bad ass. The latter will be difficult as Mount Audubon is a well documented walk up BUT......I shall write this TR for two reasons:

1) It is my first time at 8,000+ feet in 4 months (please be as excited as I am)

2) I know this time of year people appreciate a good ole' condition report with pictures to assess, ponder, and contemplate snow levels. As well I think there are some people who love to ski. Maybe you will find your next line in one of my photos.

Sunrise from Ward

Start time: 6:10 a.m.
Finish time: 1:20 p.m.
Mileage: 13-14 (conflicting reports)
Gain: 3,600'

I was pretty stoked on doing something in the IPW, something easy, and something with low avalanche danger. Audubon, check, check, check. In a super last minute plan (a trail race of mine was cancelled) my friend Adam and his swagger fox of a dog Roxy the golden retriever were down to keep me company. Before I knew it alarms were screaming at 3 a.m. and I was driving down a dark winding canyon into the shadow of some big mountains. It was all hauntingly familiar.

The road up to Brainard Lake was very much closed and covered in ice and snow. Since it refuses to stop snowing this was no surprise. We had all of our winter gear and used most of it although the ice axe, 20 pounds of extra clothes, and 30 pounds of food I brought proved to be unnecessary.

We took the standard Mount Audubon Trail from the Mitchell Lake area. There was a lightly tracked snowshoe/skin trail we followed most of the way up and down. (There is still LOTS of snow, no signs of bare ground.)

I believe... Mount Albion, Kiowa Peak, Arikaree Peak, and Navajo Peak are visible.


Adam (snow is still hard with only an occasional post hole)

Mount Audubon

At some point we put on our snow shoes.

Longs Peak... our very favorite star of the Rocky Mountain National Park show

Without incident we made the summit probably around 10 ish.

Adam and a guest appearance by my pack.

So happy to be back.


It was a little windy.

Mount Toll, Paiute Peak

Chiefs Head, Pagoda, Longs, Meeker

We hiked out and to our dismay the sun was doing its job of melting everything. My face, the snow........I ripped off most of my clothes and we slid our way out to victory. Number of face plants: 3

Roxy, quite possibly the happiest dog in the world.

Brainard Lake

On the walk out we crossed paths with Sage Canaday and Sandi Nypaver who were heading in, most likely to snowshoe up and down Audubon in 1.5 hours round trip. I completely fan-girled out. They are the Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie of the trail running world. I was almost too star struck to have a viable conversation with them but I managed to get out some words.

Another great day!

Life is grand. Spring has sprung. It's good to be back.

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14

 Comments or Questions

Road bike-able at all?
05/19/2014 12:25
Glad to see you back at it, Kay!

Buddies were thinking Apache, Dicker's Peck, and Navajo tomorrow but were hoping the road would be somewhat bike-able. Is that a no go?

Awesome beta photos of the area


Welcome back!
05/19/2014 14:08
We have missed your reports! Mt. Audubon was the very first Colorado mountain I ever hiked up and I'm NOT going to tell you how LOOOOONG ago that was...


The road was very icy in the morning
05/19/2014 14:29
but slush by afternoon. I don't own or ride a bike so I don't really know how they do with ice. There were 4 skiiers on bikes that started at the same time as us. We were faster on foot. I would say it is doable. Call 303-541-2500 The women I talked to was super helpful about how much snow the area had received. As well she made mention to me when they would plow the road so bikers could pass. I believe she said the 19th but call and double check

Jay~~~ What a beautiful area. It was nice to get out there before it gets crowded for the summer.


Was this more fun...
05/19/2014 17:30
than running 30 miles or however much you do every day in the foothills? Glad to see you getting to altitude again.


she probably
05/19/2014 18:46
ran to the TH from her house. Go figure.

Nice work Crusin the Autobahn. Those views of Longs never get old.


05/19/2014 18:54
Jeff~~ Almost but if I am to be honest ....nothing compares to the Jeffco open spaces trails. They have that special place in my heart.

Abe~~ Next time, Next time...and you will be with me


this report makes me think....
05/19/2014 22:00
that maybe now is the perfect time for Kiwi, Apple, and Apricot.


welcome back Kay
05/21/2014 19:42
good to see you haven't lost your sense of humor


Wow that's a lot of snow
05/25/2014 13:35
All of that snow is going to make for some stunning wildflowers in August!

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