Saturday, June 30, 2012

Square Top Mountain

I hiked Square Top Mountain with a CMC trip. This is the first CMC event I've done since the Barr Trail over two years ago. It was a fun mountain and a nice hike. The trip leader, Marland Billings, hiked at a good pace and was a good navigator. There were two other women on the trip who knew each other from WTS. They hiked on the slow side, but we all had a good day.

We drove to Guanella Pass and started on the Square Top Lakes Trail opposite of Mount Bierstadt. After visited both lakes, we headed off trail up the nice ramp that led all the way to the summit. As you can imagine, the top was large and relatively flat. Apparently, when viewed from the north and south, it looks like a giant square. We started on the trail just before 7:00 and summited as a group around 10:15. The clouds were quickly building even at that early hour. We began our descent down the east ridge and tagged the summit of an unnamed, but labeled 12,000 bump. Then, instead of continuing along the ridge, we dropped down to the lower lake to try to avoid any potential lightning. We got a little bit of hail and rain before getting back to the car shortly before 1:00.

Just at that time, a helicopter was flying low around Bierstadt. It landed on the flanks of the mountain just above all the willows. There were emergency and rescue vehicles at that trailhead. Nothing has been reported on the news yet, but users who were there say a teenager fell, hit is head, and was slipping in and out of consciousness. I hope he's OK.

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