Saturday, June 16, 2007

Lost on Huron Peak

Huron Peak

I never thought I'd go through so much for Colorado's third shortest 14er! At 14,003 ft, Huron Peak has been my most difficult 14er thus far, though not because it was a difficult climb, but because not only did we take the wrong trail, but we also got lost on our way back down! So the story begins on Thursday, when Crystal and I set out to conquor another 14er, but it required a true battle and tested us far more that we had anticipated. We hit the trail at 10am and had anticipated on driving two miles up the trail, but it turned out to be far too rocky for my little CR-V, so we parked and started hiking up the road. You can see in the picture above that this is where we made our first mistake. We came to a fork in the road and we, well, let's just say, sometimes it's better not to take the road less traveled by, because that made all the difference!
Not realizing we had gone the wrong way, we were having a wonderful time, and truly enjoying the hike! We couldn't have asked for better weather. In the picture above, we had just summitted our first 13er, not realizing it was a 13er, and boy was that a discouragement! We should have known it was too good to be true. To the right is the second 13er we hit before conquoring Huron on the left.

There it is again, Huron Peak

Here's a shot on our traverse from the second 13er to Huron. Here we come!!

Do you see Crystal? Look closely, down at the bottom in the rocks.

Frightening, huh?! Still a long ways to go...

At last, victory! And it was truly worth it, even if it did take us 6 and 1/2 hours!!

The view of the two 13ers we summitted from Huron.

And now, the decent. We didn't spend too much time at the top because we had no idea how long it would take us to get down. This picture is after all the snow and slush we slid down from the summit. I only slipped once, Crystal was amazing and didn't fall at all! I'm still not sure how we made it down-it was scary!

This was taken right above tree line around where we lost the trail. You can't really see it from this picture, but there was still a lot of snow down here that was melting, creating little rivers below the snow fields. Furthermore, due to all the melting snow, these little rivers were causing us to lose the trail...not good! Anyway, we followed a trail down the mountain until it somehow disappeared, and we were stuck on the wrong side of the mountain. We tried to make our way back across, but it was a very slow process because the slope was getting very steep! We ended up following various deer trails and it was getting late very quickly. We knew we only had an hour or so of sunlight left. Crystal suggested that we go back up to tree line, hopeful to find the trail that way. At least we might have been able to get cell reception. Anyway, long story short, we found our way back to the trail, but not before we had run out of water, that made it rough!

Here the sun is setting behind the mountains. We were close enough at this point and we weren't worried about losing sunlight and we finally made it back to my car at 8:30pm. I don't think I've ever been so excited to see my car! Now that it's over, however, I don't think I would have done it any other way. It was a fabulous hike, with spectacular views and to say it was an adventure would certainly be an understatement. And if you know me at all, you know I live for the adventures of life!


Tara said...

How cool! I'm loving California so far but your pictures are making me wish I were in CO too.... I'm glad you made it down safely-- that really was some adventure!

Jennifer said...

Awesome pics and fun (if tenuous) times, it looks like. Thanks for sharing. I just finished "Swimming to Antarctica" -- thanks again for sharing that with me! What an inspiration!

Sarah said...

Wow Mindy, these are some gorgous pictures. The snow looks so pretty. I hope you had a good night tonight. I was hoping you were going to call me tonight because the hours have been dragging since 10pm. It is 3am now, then I remembered that I hadn't had a good chance to look at your blog thoroughly. Anyway the adventures look fun and my co-workers around me agreed that the adventure looked cool. We were impressed by the images:)
Have a great day!
Sarah Jean