Sunday, November 30, 2008

Our first CMC trip

Today we went on our first CMC trip, led by Ricardo Peña. There were 8 people in our group total. We enjoyed hiking and talking with them.

The trip started at the St. Vrain Mountain Trailhead south of Allenspark and headed up the valley between Meadow and St. Vrain Mountains. Our aim was to summit St. Vrain for a 10-mile round-trip.

There was only a few inches of snow at the trailhead so we started off hiking. After a couple of miles we reached a point where there was enough snow to snowshoe. We geared up and headed off-trail. Parts were rocky and steep but we soon got to nice deep snow (with an occasional rocky section).

View Larger Map

We 'shoed on- and off-trail for a while to a saddle above the treeline, where we stashed our snowshoes and headed for the summit. Without the protection of the trees we were exposed to high winds -- some gusts were strong enough to knock us off balance. The pelting snow didn't feel too good against our faces. Of course the more Laurel and I tried to cover up the more our sunglasses fogged, so at times we were just following the blurry shapes in front of us. We definitely need better headgear!

Even without foggy glasses visibility was very poor. For a number of reasons we turned back about 500 vertical feet from the summit. The trip was a lot of fun despite the weather. (See our trek in Google Earth)

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