Every few weeks we realize that our list of short term adventures is beginning to run out and we have to sit down to plan the next dozen. I always schedule a fall hike because well it’s the best time of year. The bugs are not as nagging, the nights are cool and the views are stunning! This year instead of adventuring in one of our usual north east locations we decided to use up a few of those airline miles that were burning a hole in our pockets and head to Colorado.
The trip included myself, Poria (my trail wife, ha), and his questionable friend. It’s not that I question whether or not Poria was friends with him but more the decisions that his friend made. That being said, once you generally understand him and his decisions begin to make more sense the more you’re around him.
Since we booked for early October we knew every destination was dependant upon the weather. Snow on top of a 14er was a real concern for some of the more challenging routes. We also tossed around the idea of visiting a backcountry hot spring, sand dunes, and squeezing in some rock climbing. As the date got closer snow started to alter our decisions more and more. Luckily I stumbled across an invaluable resource, 14ers.com. To add a boat load of luck into the mix, they were having a meet up during the same time we were scheduled to head out there. Snow basically cleared up in the San Juan wilderness (location of the meet-up) and options really opened up.
We landed and drove through the night to Lake City, which didn’t feel much like a city, but did have the nicest people I have ever met in my life. We snacked on what little food we had and headed up our first CO 14er, Wetterhorn. Yes… we went from sea level to 14K+ with little sleep and little food. Yes… we know it wasn’t the best idea, but we did take our time and planned to turn around if anyone had bad altitude sickness. The trek was beautiful and we met some awesome locals. All in all- a huge success.
On day two, we decided we take the advice of our new friends and bagged Redcloud and Sunshine Peak. The wind was tremendous but thankfully there were only a few clouds in the sky. Due to a late start we ended up hitting Redcloud much later than we had hoped to but both the weather report and the sky said we’d have clear skies for the remainder of the day so we pushed on. Instead of backtracking, we followed the route on 14ers.com into the bowl on the North West side of Sunshine. and back to the trail head.
The snow rolled in early on day 3 and we drove slowly back to Denver for a city day, which is out of our norm but there wasn’t enough snow to play in and there was too much to summit in without proper gear. The city day included an escape room which proved to be intensely exciting.
On the last day we headed up to Boulder and Eldorado Spring to hike and hang out before shipping back home. This trip was much different from our normal fall backpacking but hey… different is good!