S. Arapaho Peak in First Snow- Sept. 2011

I took a trip up to the Forth of July trailhead in the Indian Peaks WIlderness in mid-Sept to atempt to climb S. Arapaho Peak-a local 13,000' peak after a light dusting of snow had fallen. I had climbed this familiar mountain many times before, including once earlier this summer. The climb was something of an impulse decision and I went alone. But remembering Aron Ralston's epic trip, I did email my good friend Gregg Burch to notify him of my plans.

There was more snow on the peak than I realized there would be. But the day was sunny and the forecast was for a very slight chance of precipitation.

As always, the hike was beautiful. The summer flowers were virtually gone, replaced by the rusty fall colors.

I felt as though I was hiking through the seasons in that one day. From late summer, through fall and into winter. As I climbed up past the mine and turned onto the Glacier Rim Trail, it started to look more like winter.

When I reached the last push towards the overlook to the Arapaho Galcier, the trail was so drifted in with snow that I needed gaiters to prevent the snow from going over the top of my boots. I was the first person to put tracks in the snow which is always a treat. The critters had left plenty of evidence of their passing. Unfortunately I hadn't packed for winter conditions and my feet were getting cold and wet. Rather than walk on the fragile tundra, I opted to turn back.

On the way down, the clouds were playing peek-a-boo with the mountians which made for exciting viewing.

Even though I didn't reach the summit, how many places can you hike though three seasons in one day, see amazing, dramatice scenery and still get to Nederland for a late barbeque lunch. SWEET!