Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Kearney Park Loop Snowshoeing at Leadville Fish Hatchery

Route Name: Kearnery Park Loop (Rock Creek Trail to Colorado Trail to Kearney Park Trail) at the Leadville National Fish Hatchery
Trailhead Elevation: 9,636 ft.
High Point: 10,652 ft.
Distance: 5.85 mi.
Elevation Gain: 1,020 ft.
Start Time: 10:18am
End Time: 2:50pm

Trip Report:

Having just completed wonderful days on our winter trip to Colorado with a summit of Mt. Bierstadt and a great day of skiing at Copper, we were looking for one last enjoyable mountain activity before we flew out of town.  In fact, we had flights leaving around 8pm this evening so we needed something without complications.  Snowshoeing fit the bill.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Mt. Bierstadt Winter Ascent

Route Name: West Slopes from Naylor Lakes Parking
Trailhead Elevation: 10,867 ft.
Summit Elevation: 14,060 ft.
Distance: 10.38 mi.
Elevation Gain: 3,431 ft.
Start Time: 11:31am
Summit Time: 3:43pm (10 minutes on top)
End Time: 7:47pm

Trip Report:

Its not often, and for good reasons, that one gets to about 10 in the morning and then finally decides today is the day to do a 14er climb.  That’s where we found ourselves as we decided on Mt. Bierstadt.  On our trip out to Colorado we had originally worked on plans to do Pikes Peak via Barr Camp as we had done in 2014.  We always left the option open to change plans and because of the weather possibilities that were headed the way of the Front Range we did change.  Pikes was due to get 2-4 inches the night before we would be heading to the summit and we decided that was more difficulty than we wanted.  That was especially true this year given we had already done the Pikes climb just 3 years prior.  We began investigating Bierstadt from the Naylor Lakes parking on the Guanella Pass road.  Recent conditions reports listed the upper parts of the mountain and the approaches in good shape.  Even with the possibility we figured 2-4 inches of snow on Bierstadt would be manageable still.  That is, until we decided at 10am this very morning to just go for it before the storm would hit.  

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