Monday, June 18, 2012

Pawnee Peak

Yesterday I ran up Pawnee Peak in the Indian Peaks Wilderness Area. I drove up to Brainard Lake and got to the trailhead at 7:15. The 4.8 miles to the pass were absolutely gorgeous -- wildflowers, waterfalls, rugged peaks in the distance -- picturesque Colorado summertime in the mountains.

The first two miles were very flat up to Lake Isabelle. As I started to climb up to the pass I could start feeling the gusty wind. There were a few snowfields to cross, but they were soft and well-trodden. I bumped into some other trail runners and a couple of hikers who had spent the night on the other side of the divide.

At the pass, the wind was blowing a steady 30mph, with gusts definitely at 40. I decided to push on to the summit which was only a 1/4 mile a way. There were times I was getting blown off balance. The shelter at the top was a welcome sight. I had a quick snack and then headed back down, as the wind felt cold when I wasn't moving.

As the morning got later and I got lower, I ran into a lot more people. In fact, by the time I got back to the parking lot at ten of eleven, it was jam-packed.

Stats: 9.6 miles on trail + summit excursion, 1:34 to pass, 1:50 to summit, 3:36 overall. 2400' gain.

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