It has been an exhausting, thus grand week, having notched three colossal hike-ascents on our "climbing belts." Number two was a summit on Lovely Ouray's sentinel, Twin Peaks. It's a hike to my liking, a grinding workout with a thrilling payoff, and no logistics beyond checking the forecast. Simply walk out the front door and trek.
With "weather guessers" predicting only a 10% chance for rain/thunderstorms, we assumed we had a "green light." Never assume, right? Not a hundred yards from the house, it begins to sprinkle. Ok, that's cool. It was a little too stuffy and hot anyway. Maybe a good thing, especially the cloud cover.
But the drops got bigger, and bigger... fell harder, and harder. By the time we reached Old Twin Peaks Trailhead we we're pulling rain gear out of our packs. I might have let a few obscenities slip. There was just this one black cloud, directly overhead, and it wasn't moving. I didn't want to go to all the effort of getting to the base of Twin Peaks (again), only to be denied a summit due to sketchy weather. Standing in the rain, we considered bagging the effort instead of the peak.
|Love the old dead pine at Ouray Overlook...pointing to Mount Abram, a climb in waiting that I do not want to do in snow!|
There was some leftover snow in the trail on the north-facing dark timber side of the mountain. I broke trail, leaving big footsteps for Bobbie to follow in. Finally, out of dark timber and onto a barren, windswept ridge line. Lovely Ouray is revealed, cuddled in the bosom of her Mountain Mama surround. The Million Dollar Highway snakes south, etched onto precipice ledges by hardy men with lots of dynamite, well over a hundred years ago.
|Horse and buggy days on The Million Dollar Highway... back when it was a toll road. It's slightly wider now, and paved. :)|
With ladder-like steepness, buffeted by 30 mph gusts of wind, Bobbie ascends the final "stairway" to "Heaven," er, I mean, Twin Peaks.
|One last step...|
|The colorful "Blowout"|
|Virga over Ridgway|
|Evidence of mining all along the mountainside|
Snow in the trail on the north slope. Nice and easy here...
And few final shots taken by Bobbie, plus a spectacular panorama that's destined for a canvas-wrapped frame and one of our walls.
Panorama... scroll left to view.
Nice Hike! What was your elevation gain on this one?ReplyDelete
Almost 2000 vertical feet, as we hiked from our front door.Delete
Short and steep, tho.
Enjoy the PNW... i.e., drink plenty of craft brews.
Freakin' amazing photos! You are one crazy old fart...but I admire you for it!ReplyDelete
Who told you I was old?Delete
Bucket list for next time ....ReplyDelete
Your photography never ceases to amaze me. I watched "Pale Rider" the other night just to see the Sawtooths, again. I hope you'll travel there one day and take pictures--incredibly beautiful country.ReplyDelete
Great hike, super sweet panorama. Crazy man, Bobbie isn't as crazy, but every bit as tough!ReplyDelete
Beautiful photos. Thank you.ReplyDelete
Start working on that book, will ya"?ReplyDelete
hey you do a book!!! Why did I not suggest that!?!?!? Yearly!!!_The rants from Ouray !Walden creek rvReplyDelete
You guys aren't wasting any time getting out there this season. That 2000 feet looks like it is straight up! For these early season hike/climbs it seems that an ice axe might be a good piece of equipment to carry.ReplyDelete
I try to avoid trails that require ice picks up here. They smell of broken ankles to me.... hahaDelete
You and I did this hike to Twin Peaks on July 16, 2011. My notes said we left your front door at 8:30am for a steep and strenuous hike of 3.5 miles to Twin Peaks. We arrived at the summit at 11:15am after enjoying the splendid view of Ouray and surrounding mountains. Thanks for updated photo's and memories.ReplyDelete
WOW, just freaking WOW. Great pic'sReplyDelete