Saturday, July 17, 2010

The Arapahos

(see pictures)

On Friday, Adam, Nick, Dan and I embarked on a grand adventure known as North and South Arapaho.  Regular readers of the blog may recall that Dan and I attempted this route last September with Dan and Evan, but got only to the summit of South Arapaho due to snow.  Yesterday this was not the case.

We met Nick in Boulder at 5am and drove past Nederland to the 4th of July trailhead.  We began hiking up the Arapaho Pass Trail at 6:15.  It was a moderate and beautiful hike through small waterfalls and tons of wild flowers.  We even saw a whole meadow of columbines.  Pretty!

We reached the Arapaho Glacier Trail in about an hour and a half and switch-backed to the saddle for an hour.  From here, it was a steep class 2 hiking to the summit.  We reached the shelter about 3.5 hours after starting the hike. 

Here the real fun began.  The traverse to North Arapaho was .6-miles and class 3.  In places there was some exposure and the crux was a 4th class slab with two or three rock climbing moves.  We very relieved to reach North's summit after 2 hours on the ridge.  We savored the summit for 20 minutes or so before beginning the long traverse back to South.

Once on South the hard climbing was almost over.  We still had to make our way down the steep class 2 summit cone which took an hour.  From there, it was easy hiking, though a long 3.5 miles, back to the car.  The entire day was 11.25 hours.  Wow.

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