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Wednesday, June 26, 2019

A Promontory Promise Kept

I pointed the promontory out from Main Street Ouray. "Look, that's the cliff I was on last year that was so amazing. We've got to get up there, you won't believe your eyes looking down. You can see all of Ouray, including our house. "

Of all the numerous "overlooks" from which one can stand and admire Lovely Ouray—all nestled in the bosom of its San Juan Mountain surround—this preeminent promontory stands head and shoulders above the fray. Well, except for Mount Abram. 

The catch is, in order to fully experience and appreciate the astonishing view, you must be willing to "take a little walk on the wild side."

Damn, what a view!!! But to see Lovely Ouray, one must tiptoe out to the end. To be honest...it was a tad dizzying and I had to beat back the adrenaline a couple times. Better than last year, tho, when there was a gale wind blowing.

I discovered this airy perch last year on what ended up being a "solo" hike after Leon turned back short of a destination we kindly refer to as, "The Ridge to the Bridge of Heaven." It's another 2.5 miles and 2,000 additional feet of elevation to the actual Bridge of Heaven, a narrow ridge line that overlooks a colorful and precipitous chasm more suited for Big Horn Sheep than clumsy human beings. On this day, I was more interested in showing Bobbie the new viewpoint than postholing crotch-deep snow all the way up to Bridge of Heaven...      

Senior volunteers doing maintenance on Horse Thief Trail.  This is a problematic section that crosses a vertiginous slide area prone to disappearing under landslides and rockfall.

Widening the trail...

They should be wearing hardhats...

Finally, after an hour and a half of uphill grind, we have enough altitude for a rather sketchy view of Ouray.

Only 20 more minutes to the saddle on the Ridge to the Bridge.

Aromatic Phlox proliferate near the saddle. 

Bobbie slogs the the final section of trail to the "Ridge to the Bridge."

Then we hang a left (west) at the saddle on a lesser trail to reach the new viewpoint. The other trail behind Bobbie is the one on up to Bridge of Heaven 

Finally we reach the promontory. Our legs are shaky from the ascent so I tell Bobbie to take it slow and be careful of the grabby volcanic rock that wants to trip you up. I also tell her to favor the right side of the "catwalk" over the left, which has a 200 plus foot vertical drop. The right side's only 50 to 75 feet, which makes you feel better but still gonna kill ya.  

I end up going first...

A great place for lunch...
The view north toward Ridgway...

The view off our boot tips. Can you spot our house?

How about now?
It's the one under the arrow in the lower right corner...
The obligatory goofy selfie on top...notice we are well back from the edge. Too many selfies making the National News  :)
Peace out from Lovely Ouray, where summer is just beginning to ramp up...literally.

Mark and Bobbie


  1. Thanks Mark & Bobbie, now we've seen that view so we can cross that hike off our "bucket list"...😳
    Must be that veggie diet you two are on that permit this kind of lifestyle.
    What's next?

  2. Very cute selfie!
    Not sure which would have been worse, that narrow part of the trail or the catwalk. Maybe on my hands and knees:-)

  3. Holding my breath all the way through this post! and sigh of relief at the last great photo of you two :)

  4. Great Scott, Brilliant Shots - Well Done


  5. Just found your blog through Jill's. This is an area I'd love to explore more.


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