Sunday, October 12, 2008

Snowy Nederland

As expected, Boulder didn't see any snow. But, we decided we would go chase it because, you know, there's nothing like freezing temps in and white stuff in October. We didn't need to go too far to find some. By the time we got to Boulder Falls in the canyon (about 8 miles from town) there was snow on the branches of the evergreens. Once we got to Nederland there was a dusting on the ground. We drove a bit west and south of town to the Eldora Ski Area where we parked at an elevation of 9,200ft. Our hope was to hike the Jenny Creek Trail to Guinn Mountain at 11,200ft. We did get more snow as we ascended the trail and at times there was enough to try out our snowshoes. However, once we put them on, we would quickly take them off again as parts of the trail were rocky and windswept which meant minimal snow.

The base of the trail was well marked, but when we were supposed to turn off the resort access road was not marked, so we hiked the road all the way to the top of the mountain--lots of steep switchbacks. After about 2 hours the road finally petered out and became a trail that followed a gas pipeline. After about a mile out of the ski resort the trail got very narrow and led us through some dense, snow covered pines. Here Dan saw some moose tracks (that's right, there was a big sign that warned us that many moose frequented the area). Eventually we made it to the summit of what we thought was Guinn Mountain. The visibility was so poor at this point (maybe 350ft) it was hard to tell. But, according to the GPS we were there. We promptly turned around and what took us 3.5 hours to ascend took 2 hours to descend. Needless to say after 5.5 hours of hiking in the snow we were cold, tired, and sore especially since the snow shoes were on our backs more than our feet! We got back into town and stopped at Sherpa's Restaurant for dinner.


Dan said...

We did make it to the summit of Guinn Mountain but not the way we intended to. See map.

Tom said...

MA was too cold for ya, and now, not only do you move to a place where it's starting to freeze in October (it's 60's here lately), but you actually go snow hunting!

Snow can be tough to clean . . .probably harder to clean than squirrel.