Thursday, November 28, 2013

El Diente to Wilson Peak Traverse



Brian and I took a late August trip down to the San Juan mountains to climb Mount Wilson, Wilson Peak, and El Diente.  As one of the four great traverses in Colorado, I was very much looking forward to the ridge run from El Diente to Wilson Peak.

Approaching Ridge Crest

El Diente ascent to ridge

First good scramble

El Diente Summit

El Diente to Wilson Traverse
These mountains are the furthest fourteeners from Denver, so it took me awhile to get down there.  Two other factors delayed my trip: a stop in Grand Junction to have dinner with my mom and a wrong turn which dumped me in Norwood.  I knew I should have taken that left turn in Placerville.  I have childhood memories of visiting my grandparents in Placerville, so it was nice to return to this area again.

I made it to the trailhead and found Brian's vehicle before midnight.  I hit the bag immediately in the back of the Frontier under the stars.  Brian and I got a good start the next morning on our way to El Diente.  The first part of the trail is a nice but never ending hike through the woods in the basin.  Eventually the waterfall comes into view and the ascent starts in earnest.

This part of the hike through rock rubble is definitely taxing.  Finally we hiked what looked to be past The Tooth which looms like a monarch above.  The hike starts to become a climb as we approached the ridge.  Brian and I took different lines and we used other climbers as our cairns.  With much scrambling ahead of us, I played a bit on the rocks but didn't get too screwy.

Once on the ridge line, the final push to the top of El Diente is quite an interesting scramble.  We made the top and took some great pictures.  There were a couple of military guys on top as well as a guy and gal hiking partners.

Brian wasn't feeling up to the traverse, so he decided to descend back to the valley and meet me at the top of Wilson Peak.  Maybe we broke the buddy rule, but my desire to tackle this traverse was too great.  Even though 14ers.com makes the ridge approach clear, I was reluctant to loose the prescribed amount of elevation and cut to the ridge too early.  This put me on the wrong side of the ridge and I had to scramble-slide down and loose the elevation anyway.  I was a bit nervous because there were no other climbers in sight, but eventually I found a few cairns which made me feel a bit better.  It is mostly the fear that you won't be able to rejoin the route that gets me.

I made my way to the ridge crest and spied other scramblers.  The views are spectacular and the route is epic.  The next section involved a lot of easy but very engaging scrambling.  It takes some time, but there is nothing I would rather be doing.  Then I came to the crux ramp.  This looks quite ominous and I had time to evaluate the approach as other climbers ahead of me were planning theirs.  One of the three in the group decided not to even tackle the pitch and bailed off the ridge.

The climb of the ramp was definitely Class 4 and probably lower Class 5, but I was never nervous due to the nice selection of holds and the solid rock.  I would like to put down more adjectives to describe this awesome section and will do so as more memories come to me.

The final pitch to the top of Wilson Peak turned out to be quite a challenge.  There is one rock that takes an awkward belly-rubbing pull to get over.  It was even tougher coming down.  There is some exposure here to make it even more interesting.  Coming down as a short guy leaves ones feet dangling, searching for any kind of a footing.  In the end I survived and was the last guy off the summit.

I heard Brian shouting from down in the valley and assumed he was headed back home.  I couldn't exactly make out the words, but was still amazed at how voices carry in the mountains.  I was trying to keep up with the others just to make sure I was on the right track.  Part of the way down the descent, I realized that their group was taking a different route than Brian.  I wanted to be sure and hook up with Brian eventually, so I had to make my way back up to the ridge.  This was a bit of an endeavor because I was already spent of energy and more ascent was not easy.

Once back at the ridge, I descended the correct valley.  This was a long and arduous crossing of scree and a sea of boulders.  This took a very very long long time.  I didn't catch up to Brian until past the waterfall and down to tree line.  Brian had waited for me there.  The long long hike out was beautiful but there wasn't much left in our gas tanks.  In the end the entire day was as epic as any other I can remember.  Scrambling one more of the great traverses was the highlight of the summer.  Very much recommended!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Elk Hunt 2013

Opening day of hunting season: one very anticipated day!  On Saturday Steve and I took the spur off wells gulch road.  Dave's knee was hurting so he had to sit opening day out.  Steve and I reached the end of the road while it was still quite dark, but we could see someone camped there by the light in there small tent.  Burr... that had to be a cold night.  With other hunters in the area we decided to stick to our plan.  I hiked straight up from the road, Steve hiked over to meadow.  The hike was easy in the dark even without a solid trail.  At around shooting light I saw 7-10 elk at about 600 yards away.  I then spotted a cow elk at 400 yards and debated taking a shot.  Instead I tried to work my way closer.  The pinions are thick in here and I heard them barking but could not see them.  Finally they spooked and I heard two shots down below.  Damn, I guess my strategy was wrong. Steve didn't get a shot due to the safety on his gun.  I hiked on up to Alkali Basin then across to the far ridge and down.  At the end of the day I saw the two hunters there on that far ridge.  I surmised that the elk went across and down toward the private land ranch.

On Sunday we decided to hunt the Mesa Pt Road and the next road over to lover's rock.  I took my ATV and went over to lovers rock and hiked up.  I was surprised nobody else was there.  Once above the burn if you stay too low you get into some thick oak brush as seen in the photo above.  I fought the oak brush for over an hour.  It sucks.  I then fought my way through the aspen groves.  In this area there are lots of small streams and downed trees.  I got a text from Dave saying there are elk below Indian Point.  I heard shots and he got his rag horn.  After much bushwhacking I actually spotted the elk bedded down right where he said they were.  Check out the photo to the right.  I worked my way up high and came upon boot tracks and saw a blood trail. The tracks were going the wrong way for me, so I followed the bootprints backwards to the tall pines.  Knowing I couldn't get much closer, I worked my way down to some boulders where I could shoot across a small valley.  I took off my orange and tried to hide behind the boulders.  As I scoped out the herd, I saw many cow elk, 3 spikes, and one bull who looked to be legal.  Finally he turned his head to prove it.  I set up my shot on the boulders using the snow for a solid base.  I took the shot and elk scattered everywhere!

I saw the bull standing on the hill side and tried to bring him down again.  Finally all elk were out of sight, so I walked over along the one elk "highway" through the black timber and boulders.  I spooked a calf who was separated from the herd.  When I got to the meadow where they had been bedded, my bull elk stood up and I dropped him with a final shot. A very nice 5x5 bull!

After hurriedly doing a gutless field dressing, I started down the mountain.  As I crested the ridge, I seen the elk herd again just below me in the meadow.  A couple of the spike bulls were sparring.  The lead cow was barking to get the group to gather and go down.  It was quite a beautiful scene.  There must have been 40 elk.  Check out the photo to the left.

I watched the elk as long as I could, then tried to make my way down the mountain without disturbing them too much.  It was getting very late and I needed to get to the trail before it was too dark.  Busting tail, I made it to Dalton's Rock before dark then walked out on the trail in the dark.  Johnny, Dave, and Clark came back to get me at the radio towers.  I ended up leaving my ATV and pickup over at lovers rock for two days.

Here's a nasty picture of my bull.  Nobody was with me to take a nicer picture.  What an awesome day of hunting!  It started out brutal with the oak brush and downed quakies, but ended with the best elk hunt I can imagine!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Deer Hunt 2013 - Opening weekend

As my fourth option, I drew a buck tag for gmu 18, 28, 37, and 371.  I've never hunted in this area, so we did a little scouting in the two weeks leading up to the second season.

First we took the county road 21 off of highway 125 north of Hot Sulphur Springs.  This road is a bit rough, and there seemed to be a lot of people around.  Not sure how this area around Elk Mountain is to hunt, because we never hunted it during the season, but I'm guessing the deer hunting is best around the radio towers.

The next weekend we scouted the area around Meadow Creek Reservoir.  We met a game warden on Road 8, and he said he had seen 200 head of deer that day.  This got me excited so decided to hunt here there opening day the next weekend.

Opening day I decided to hunt behind Meadow Creek Reservoir.  It had snowed the day before, so it was perfect conditions.  In fact I almost got my Nissan Frontier stuck just off the road because the snow was so deep.  I found a good trail, but it was cold and with the snow Shelz didn't want to continue.  She didn't have tall enough boots.  I found many sets of deer track and what turned out to be moose track.  Finally saw three moose!  Very cool.

That afternoon I hunted Strawberry Road.  It seemed that the deer would be lower than all the snow and Shelz could go with me.  We took the right spur and found a mountain bike trail at the top of the road.  We hiked this road but didn't see any deer.  On the way out, a warden had a check point set up.  He said only three deer had come out of this area today, and only one out of Corona Pass Road.

On Sunday we went back up Strawberry Road and took the left and longer road.  We found a great spot and we hiked out across great looking deer country.  Again on a mountain bike trail and again no deer.  So we decided to hunt Corona Pass in the afternoon.  It started snowing but we hunted a spot where a fellow hunter said he saw a buck.  Instead we saw three moose!  A mother and two young bulls.  The one bull was a year older than the other and we watched them sparring and playing a bit.  The area looks like good deer and elk country, but the only deer we saw was a buck that some boys from Kansas had harvested at the start of the road.

All in all, the beetle kill is causing an affect on the deer population I believe.  This is also very high country, so maybe not the best in general for deer.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

The Grand Traverse


I have had the Grand Traverse on my wish list for a couple of years now.  The Grand Traverse is on the skyline above Vail as you are heading East.  It is part of the Gore Range.  We left Denver early and arrived in Vail at about 6 am.  We stashed our mountain bikes at the Deluge Lake trail head and parked at the Bighorn trail head about a mile and a half away.  This trail head is a bit tricky to find.
 
 
The first section of trail is quite steep.  You can imagine the fall colors would be spectacular on this hike, but we were here on August 18, 2013.  It is still a very pretty hike.  After about a mile and a half the steep slope relents and you have easier walking in the valley.  There are many species of mushrooms here if you look for them.

Once you reach the cabin, take the trail to the left of it rather than to the right.  We went right and made it into the upper valley fine, but it just added a bit to the hike.

The trail peters out and you have to do a little bushwhacking to get to the steep slopes of North Traverse Peak.  We were eager to get on with the scrambling so we probably started up the slope too early.  I wonder if going all the way to the saddle would have been better.  The bushwhacking/scrambling starts here and is a good challenge.  It is very untame and wild in the Gore Range.
Here you can see the kind of true bushwhacking you get yourself into!  My climbing partner Shelz was getting a bit put out with it.
Once you climb past the cliff bands the vegetation thins out but the steepness of the slope remains.  The grassy slope is hard on the calves and quads.  The views of Vail start to appear and you can see all the way to Holy Cross.
Then the scree starts.  You get boulders of all shapes and sizes.  None of them are very stable (as you would expect).  For people who have spent there lives boulder hopping, it can be fun to gauge the terrain and find the best way to surf your way up.  For people who have less experience, it is not fun at all and can be frustrating and scary.  The scree becomes interminable. 
This is a very long climb and a bit much for us on this day, so we turned around with the summit of North Grand Traverse peak in our sites.  To touch the top was tempting, but the goal has always been to scramble the traverse, so we will be back. 

The descent down through the scree and then the cliff bands was just as challenging as the ascent.  At times we were almost cliffed out and had to use some unorthodox climbing moves to get past the thick ground cover and water trickling rocks.

The long hike to the truck got us back after 7 pm and in the darkness.  If you aren't a fast hiker/climber you should start this adventure as early as possible.  We'll be back.  We'll see you up there in the summer of 2013!

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Elk Hunt 2012 Part 2 of 2

On Thursday we decided to finally hunt the towers.  Two in our party went over to the next ridge west from the tower ridge.  Two went to the bowl, and I went to the top.  We got in early and I was up to Dalton's rock before 7 am.  As I scoped the mountain side from the next rock on the ridge, I spotted a bull elk high above and to the right of the mudslide.  I devised a plan.  I would make my way through the oak brush at the lower end of the slide, then sneak up the soft mud to avoid detection.

Dalton's rock
My plan was working out perfectly as I detangled my way to the bottom of the mud slide.  The side ridge of the slide made a perfect visual barrier and the soft dirt was very quiet.  I poked my head above the ridge about half way up, but couldn't see the elk.  I proceeded on to the next chosen vantage point, but again no elk.  I was beginning to think the bull elk I had seen from far below was in reality just a boulder or something.

In my sights
As I made my way on up, peaking over the ridge, I finally came to the full view.  Two spike elk!  They were bedded down in a small opening just 30 yards away.  They had no idea I was there.  Man, did I wish one of them would grow some bigger antlers!  I scoped each of them with my rifle, and watched them with my binoculars for over a half hour.  They were very on edge, perking their ears and nose to every little change in the breeze.

Two spikes
Finally, I decided to move on.  Although quiet, when I did stand up, they immediately detected my presence and spooked.  They crashed through the thick oak brush and seemed to have some difficulty making their way through.  It was good to see it isn't always humans that find this stuff annoying.

I made my way to the top of the mudslide and to the spot I had shot at the bull a few years back.  The only way through the thick brush and back to the ridge, was up over the top of Indian Point.  I finally bagged this sucker after many years of hunting around it.  Nice view.

Indian Point
On Friday, my last day of the hunt, we finally got snow.  I decided to hunt the middle section of the Blue Grouse Trail.  I started up through the meadows about a half mile past the Point Camp Trail hoping to make my way up to the dark timber pockets below the rim.  As I rounded a large bend in the path, I spotted two cow elk.  As I readied myself for the first shots of the season, I spotted a nice bull.  Probably a five point, so I knelt down and tried to steady my aim.  I let the lead fly, but missed!  Another shot and another miss just low!  Damn.  Now the elk aren't hanging around any longer and they take off up hill.

Where the elk were
I tracked these elk all the way to the top of the mountain through some steep side hills and a lot of thick timber.  Even though it was snowing on and off all day, at times it was hard to find tracks.  At one point I had to back track and get my forgotten fanny pack.  They led me through the timber and finally into the upper rolling meadows of aspen groves.  Finally at midday the tracks became too hard to follow.  I never seen the elk again.

 
Where the red fern grows
I promised myself I would practice shooting my rifle at longer distances: 200-300 yards, at least once per month for the next year.  I can't miss another shot like that again.  They are too few and the hard hiking it takes makes it silly not to be able to finish.  I want you dear reader to keep me honest in this pledge.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Elk Hunt 2012 Part 1 of 2

Saturday opening morning we hunted over to the end of the road on upper alkali basin.  Clark came with me, a first time hunter.  On the atv ride up we road double up the very cobby road from dry basin where we were camped.  There were many hunters over in this area, and we spent the morning trying to make our way to a place of our own.  Clark got to experience crawling through the oak brush and tip toeing across boulder fields.  In the end we walked right up on two hunters watching a meadow.  We walked on until we came to the long park where Dalton shot his bull elk. 

I left Clark on a high perch to watch as I walked down through the park to the far ridge.  I decided to hug the lip of the park so I could see down into the basin.  As I got 3/4 of the way, I spooked something in the bushes ahead of me.  It didn't sound like a deer, and it definitely wasn't an elk.  I made my way to a small hill to see, and surprise! a mountain lion!  Very cool to see her sleeking into the foliage away from me.  As I walked a bit further, I heard more rustling.  I got a bit spooked thinking I was the hunted this time.  It turned out to be deer this time, not mountain lion.

I hunted up around to the right of the high point on the far side of the park.  There isn't much visibility up here and is quite noisy with all the brush.  Sticking to the open face of the point works just as well.  As you get to the far side you can see down into the ajoining basin and onto some secluded parks.  I didn't spot anything and made my way back to Clark by early afternoon.

We hunted from the end of the lower road that evening.  We spooked a deer right as we came to the lookout point, but spotted no elk in the far basin.

mossy creek
The other boys in my hunting party said there were way too many hunters along the dough spoon road, so I decided to go to the end of the blue grouse trail.  I parked at the base of the mountain, just before bull and brown and hiked up the road to start.  I found a service atv road to the right, not open to the public, but legal to hike.  A perfect option to hunt quietly.  It was a very nice hunt, but alas no elk.  I met three hunters coming down from the top, so I know you can get there from the granbys.  I hiked out through a nice park back toward the ridge in order to make a big loop.  I seen a very nice 4x4 buck and we did a little dance.

arrow in tree
On Monday it was just Clark and me.  Dave and Steve had to work, and Chip was not feeling well.  I tried to set Clark on the point camp trail, but screwed up and sent him up the road to that camp.  I road my atv to the first open park almost to the top of the bull and brown.  I hiked out staying at the same elevation.  After about an hour of hiking through aspens and pines, I spooked a nice bull elk.  He ran straight away from me knocking his antlers on the aspens.  I couldn't get a shot.  Shortly after, I heard another hunting shoot four times.  I didn't know how to proceed with my hunt.  After half an hour I heard two more shots, then another half hour one last shot.  In the end I hunted by following a circle where I believe this other hunt went on.  It wasn't a winning strategy.  Later that day I did come upon fresh blood.  I followed it through the thick evergreens and eventually spooked a couple of elk.  With no snow, it was very hard to follow the blood and it seemed to disappear.

spot the hunter?
On Tuesday I got Clark on the proper point camp trail, and I again hunted the same place.  And again after about an hour of hiking, I spotted three cows.  I could just see their heads.  I came to a well traveled game trail and followed it.  It lead to the upper meadow where the b&b atv trail meets the greenwood trail.  In reality this hunt area isn't that far from atv trails.  I decided to try to enter the pines, but soon found myself in a boulder field.  I was meticulously making my way down the boulder field when I mistakenly stepped on a twig.  I heard an elk in the timber take off.  Damn!  Hunting elk is an exercise in staying alert.  One small mistake can ruin hours spent on a hunt.  But I did find a new way to hunt the dark timber on the Grand Mesa.  I tried to go as far out as possible and came to some huge meadows with many quakies.  Eventually I came to the place cattle make there way down the mountain.

Wednesday brought Steve, Justin and Dave back to camp.  We decided to give b&b one more try since I had seen elk both previous days. We all parked in the same meadow, but Steve and I went up the road to the large park on top.  Steve entered where I had come out on Tuesday, I went farther and it took awhile to find a way in without getting into the thick timber.   The area always looks different based on the exact small rolling meadow you are in.  I met up with Dave late morning and nobody had seen elk.  When we got back to the atvs, we found Steve napping.  Dave used his elk call, but Steve didn't budge.  Dave let out a huge bugle and Steve jumped up!  A good laugh was had by all.
see the porcupine?

Late in the day Steve and Justin went back down to pick up Clark who was hunting the low end of this area.  Dave went up the service road and I hiked down blue grouse trail.  I was about an hour in, when I spotted many deer.  The hunting got really good.  Finally I spooked some cow elk.  There was a bull with them!  A spike... damn.  At the same time, I seen a porcupine.  He waddled away up a small trail.

Stay tuned for part two!






Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Elk Hunt 2010

Opening morning, two nice bucks.  Quakies across the trail.  Hunted down and around.

Day two hunted the radio towers.  Went all the way to the top, seen a bull elk at 3 pm across Well's Gulch from just above Dalton's rock.  Seen a bear who bird dogged for me.  Steve seen a bobcat.

Day three we went up top to flowing park.  Dave, Justin, and Steve went to the end of the road and shot at some cows 700 yards.  I hunted the crunchy snow on the road to point camp.  Forgot my fanny pack.  Hunted the ridge... didn't see any elk below me.  Hunted down by xx lake.  Steep drop off, no way to hunt down.

Day four it was snowing hard.  Hiked up the ridge on the far side of Alkali Basin, but the blizzard turned me around.  It let up a bit so I wanted to hunt the bull I seen on day two.  Beautiful basin, but no elk.   I watched the park where I seen the bull, but didn't spot him.

New binos are great for seeing elk.  Day five Dave and I shot at some cows from the honey hole.  Dave followed a wounded cow for three miles.  I hiked up, seen a bull up high.  Made my way through the oak brush, then tracked him for a couple of hours.  Back down at Dalton's rock, I seen four elk up at Indian Point.  A doe followed by a little buck came into the park below d rock.

Day six Dave and Steve hunted from the cabins and I hunted from Point Camp.  Seen evidence of a bull, but seen no hair.  Drove to the end of blue grouse for lunch.  Decided to load my gun and spotted 30 elk on the hill above.  Took some long shots.  Tracked them across and down to the raging creek.

Day seven, Steve hunted low and I hunted the end of Blue Grouse again.  Went straight across along a trail, up the far ridge and along the ditch bank.  A plane scared the elk.  I seen evidence of many beds.  Decided to ride the ATV up the road and spotted some cows.  Took one shot.

Day eight we had to be out of there to go to Phoenix for the race.  Steve and I made it around the downed trees and to the end of the road.  My advice is to take the lower spur.  The horse trail is a much easier hike than up the ridge.  I spotted the bull on the next ridge and made my way across the basin.  I got within 400 yards, but too much oak brush to get closer.  Took my shots and dusted his ankles but couldn't draw blood.




Drive to Phoenix took all night.  I drove from Mexican Hat.

Lost Creek Wilderness Loop

It has been a while, but finally got out and hiked with my Colorado Trail partner Nick.  He has been exploring the Lost Creek Wilderness in Colorado and invited me along on an epic hike of 22 miles (some posts say 26 miles... I didn't bring my gps: mistake #1).  Of course Nick wanted to do it all in one day: August 18, 2012!

We got to the trailhead early and headed out.  Due to the length of the hike Nick was worried about finishing before dark so he set a blistering pace.  I almost broke into a trot to keep up.  There were many cars in the parking lot and quite a few folks in the first couple of miles, but we soon found solitude.   The picture above shows a typical Lost Creek scene of monuments.
  
 We came upon a nice campsite near the spot of the failed dam and old buildings.  We also seen the first hikers we had seen in a while.  Nice quakies.

Goose creek starts to become lost in this area.  We witnessed the tunnel where the creek makes its way through the rock and a man sitting lotus position meditating.  Very spiritual and feng shui.
At the top of the pass you see refrigerator gulch.  I'm not sure where it gets its name, but there are many monumental rocks in this fine wilderness.  Here is where I started seeing many mushroom species.  I'll post pictures later.
Approaching McCurdy park we were far from civilization and had not seen another person for hours.  My dogs were barking and we were only half way.  Serenity is in abundance here.
How about a nice combination of aspens, pines, and granite?

How about my ugly mug?  Hiking in my approach shoes, but why not.  Don't tell anyone, but fly agaric in this area.
Long before you reach this lovely rock, a word of extreme caution: you will reach the massive blow down of Lake Park trail.  There are so many trees blown down that you are in for one hell of a bushwhack.  It is easy to get lost here.  Funny how the wilderness rules work: no chainsaws, so it will be awhile before this trail is nice again.
Proof I made it.  The hike to the top of the pass after an unwanted set of switchback descent sapped me of any remaining energy.  Plus we still had six miles to go.  The long gradual descent back to the truck was enjoyable despite my tired feet and empty tank.  Here again you see the unique beauty of Lost Creek Wilderness.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Ellingwood Point Southwest Ridge

We met Brian at the trailhead for the road to Lake Como deep in the Sangre De Cristo mountains.  Due to a flat tire, we started up the road very late in the day.  Add to this that I didn't feel comfortable taking my stock 4x4 as far up the road as I did in my Little Bear ascent.  We ended up hiking most of the way to Como in the dark.  We got to Lake Como at midnight and pitched our tents.
 
I originally had planned to do the Little Bear to Blanca traverse, but Shelz was not comfortable with such a committing route so early in her scrambling life.  Instead we decided to try the Southwest ridge on Ellingwood Point.  Roach describes it as a fun and continuous tune up for Little Bear to Blanca, and so it is.

We hiked passed the recommended start, and so I decided to take off from the next lake up.  This approach to the ridge proved to be a bit harder scramble.  At one point we spent the better part of an hour trying to get around a particular vertical rock section.

Finally once on the ridge, the scrambling is solid class 3.  Often times the ridge looks like it is too hard, but you can always find a reasonable weakness in the slope.  If the rock gets too vertical, you can always drop to the left side of the ridge.

Once you can see all of the final approach, things get a bit airy.  The ridge narrows and you must keep your balance.  A couple of knife like edges exist here.  Just before the final pitch, we found it necessary to downclimb and then scurry up a loose rock and dirt section to the last notch on the ridge.

The scrambling up to the summit was easier both in climbing and in route finding than the final pitch on Sneffels.  We had the summit to ourselves and hadn't seen a soul on our route all day.  Even the descent was us alone.  The 14er initiative volunteers had even quit for the day.

The descent down the standard route was an exercise in talus hopping.  Once we made it to the cave, the descent was easier.  The long slog back to camp was highlighted by the sighting of four nice mule deer bucks.  Two of the fellas had quite large racks, while the other two were younger.  All still in the velvet.

This route took us from dawn to dusk.  It took us over eleven hours, granted we were moving slow.  This was one of the most fun scrambling routes I've done.  It wasn't the hardest, but the continuous fun is hard to beat!

 
Initial Ramp

Our harder scramble

Balancing on the ridge

At times on the east side

A long way down on either side

Finally, the rest of the ridge to the summit
Little Bear in the background

Final pitch

39th 14er

A look at our first pitch

A look at the recommended start