Saturday, September 3, 2011

Audubon and Paiute

Dan's boss, Dave, invited us to join him, his wife and some co-workers on a hike up Audubon. Then the four of us would proceed to Paiute. Though Dan and I had a long run planned that day, we decided we couldn't pass up an attempt to summit Paiute, as we've tried twice already and been turned back by weather.

It was a gorgeous morning at the Mitchell Lake trailhead. In all, there were eight of us heading up to Audubon. For two members of the group, this was there first hike up a real mountain, so we knew it would be slow going. It was a fun, social pace and we all reached the summit by 10:00.

After a leisurely snack, Dave, Maureen, Dan and I trekked on toward the ominous ridge connecting Audubon and Paiute. It was a blue-sky day. We scrambled down to the saddle and then up to the summit of Paiute, which greeted us much sooner than we had expected. Dan and I were both elated to have made it up this elusive summit. We took some pictures and relished having the top to ourselves for quite a while.

On the way back, we decided to take a scree-filled gully down to the Blue Lake basin. It was slow-going and took a while to finally make it to the actual trail, but we had no threat of thunderstorms and great company. We got back to the car around 3:00 and then headed to the Sundance Cafe south of Nederland for some good eats.

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