I can't recall the reason we were pressed for time. Suffice it to say that we needed to squeeze in a peaceful summit, and Big Red is a reliably quick, convenient, captivating, and, for the most part, quiet go-to peak.
It feels like a good portion of summer has trickled under the "bridge" since our Big Red summit. But I'm told old news is new news when it comes to untold stories, so here's the scoop on our hike up Big Red.
Depending on delays from road repair, rockfall, looky-loo flat-lander drivers, semi-trucks taking up both lanes, and lumbering Class A motor-homers, it can take anywhere between 20 minutes to an hour to get to Red Mountain pass...today's gateway for summiting Red Mountain 3 (a tad shy of 13,000 feet).
In an attempt to beat the Jeeper-creepers, semis, and tourist-turtles in general, Bobbie and I got an early start. We didn't intend to turn this hike into a track meet, but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do in order to "keep the peace."
Due to Red 3 being pretty much a private mining claim, it doesn't allow "vehicles." So we disembarked Sue Bee at a gate with a sign that reads: Welcome hikers, bikers, and horseback riders. Cool that not all land-leasers post "Keep Out" signs.
Though un-forecasted clouds and spits of rain peed on our parade and photo-ops, we were early enough to escape lightning. No big deal. Let's just get our peaceful "mountain-fix" before tending to afternoon errands...whatever they were.
Around the first corner, little more than a hundred yards beyond the gate, we encountered a large, boisterous group of high school kids on a "field trip." Well, so much for peaceful.
Thanks to "lack of service," it was reassuring to see so many youngsters actually talking to each other instead of texting. Not one cell phone glued to a single palm.
As we excused and parted our way through a veritable sea of teenage hormones, I whispered to Bobbie..."What-say we dust these guys?"
It didn't take long to be out of both earshot and sight. With nothing but labored breathing to break our newfound silence, I went on a mission to see how quickly I could make the summit while burdened with a 25 pound pack.
Per my Gaia App: 2.03 miles and 1,341 feet of ascent in 58 minutes. Bobbie rolled in right behind me.
We had a good half hour on the summit before the first wave of kids rolled in...one gal and three guys. We shared the summit, eavesdropping hit-and-miss on youthful conversations.
Of course not all made it to the top. Some got sidetracked glissading patches of snow. Another gal sprained her ankle pretty bad and was being attended to by a handsome chaperone (she seemed to be enjoying his attention). A few others were stretched out on tundra, catching a few z's. Whatever, at least no one was using a cell phone. Kinda refreshing in this continuously connected day and age.
mark and bobbie