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Friday, September 30, 2016

Blaine Basin, The Other Face of Sneffels

"It's not the mountain that wears you out, it's the grain of sand in your shoe." Robert Service

Wow, we figured it had been 4 or 5 years since we last hiked to Blaine Basin. It lays at the foot of the north face of our local 14'er, Mount Sneffel's, opposite of upper Yankee Boy Basin in both location and spirit. I understand the north face route to the summit is a technical climb and thus prefer the Yankee Boy approach, where only a couple crux moves can be done by the surefooted without the need for ropes. 

One of the main reasons I wanted to do the Blaine hike was the autumnal show of color on the way in via East Dallas Road. It's enough to make your eyes bleed... 

Unfortunately, the hike to Blaine is not quite as colorful due to a preponderant spruce/fir forest. I felt claustrophobic, then realized how jaded I'm getting hanging out above timberline so much of the time. All in all, we endured a couple miles of wall to wall forest. It's tough coming off the "high ground," always far views and never a dull nor ugly moment.  :)

If you ever hike up to Blaine Basin, beware of the creek crossings. The rocks are slicker than snot! Bobbie had a splash-down and had to hike the rest of the day soaking wet. Thankfully, it was nice and sunny, and she dried out about the time we got back to the car. 

The trail steepens the last mile, switchbacking its way up to Blaine and Sneffel's north face. There was just enough snow for a taste of winter, and we had it all to ourselves.

On the way out I had to stop and take a few more photos...

The wedding is upon us... rehearsal this afternoon, followed by a catered buffet, ceremony tomorrow, followed by another buffet, then a Sunday Brunch the following day. "Knots are not the only thing getting tightly tied around here. I'll need to back off a notch on the old belt. :)

Peace Out from mark and bobbie, in laws and out laws, old friends and new. 


  1. Oh so breathtaking. Any of your photos would stand alone as a work of art. So many together is anot excess of riches. That is the bug problem with the Cascades, too many trees.

  2. Those are some glorious views out East Dallas!

    Cheers to a fun wedding weekend for the happy couple and their families!

  3. You certainly picked the right time to do that hike. When we were there at the end of summer the flowers were dead, leaves hadn't started changing, and there was no snow on the mountain. Looks much more appealing now. Jim hated the forest part of that trail, too.
    Enjoy your weekend of indulgence and celebration!

  4. ....been down that road a hundred times and never get tired of it, but we are seeing showers over the area today so getting worried about the mud holes.
    Actually in all the years we have only had those issues twice, but still managed to have a great experience.
    Yes it is looking real good.
    See ya on Wed afternoon or evening.
    Where's the wedding being held? You don't have to answer that if it might cause a problem with party crashers:)

    1. The Catholic Church (St. Daniel's?) in Ouray... but 3 receptions at the Secret Garden. Too much food and booze... I'm out of practice.

  5. Beautiful hike:) We aren't forest hikers either which is why hiking here in the east doesn't do a lot for us. Have a wonderful weekend celebrating:)

  6. Today's the day! Congratulations to the newlyweds! And to the new in-laws. You now have a new daughter.

  7. I have seen many extremely beautiful header photos in your blog but this one stands out. My eyes ARE bleeding. And all these other pics.....just too pretty.

  8. Your "backyard" seems to be a wonderland anytime of year, but Autumn is fantastic! The photos you take on your hikes and bike rides are inspiring but more than that, I enjoy the way your words make photographs of a different kind.
    Congrats to your kids ... Life is definitely Good.


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