A lot has happened these past 2 weeks. We have had a few visitors, saw some cool wildlife, and did some awesome group hikes. I'll let the photos do the story telling on this one and I will fill in the gaps. Enjoy!
Young Bull Relaxing in the Morning Sun
To start off the week I woke up and opened the blinds to about 25 elk surrounding my house. Most were females but there were a few young bulls as well. It has been a while since they have been around here. I suspect they will start coming back soon once the rut starts.
Badger Digging a hole in my Front Yard: No shits given
In addition to the elk I also got my first great sighting of a badger. I have seen them before but they were always on their way to someplace else or they were out at night. I saw this little guy under my car and thought it was a marmot at first and then realized it was a badger when I saw it move. I got some great shots of it and also some decent hand-held video of it digging. A very cool sighting indeed. After the badger sighting we headed up into the alpine for a short acclimatization hike for our visiting friends, Ryan and Kacie.
Butterfly on an American Bistort Flower.
Group on top of Sundance Mountain having a beer.
Oh, and while we were up there Ryan did this...
She said yes...
Then we rolled over to Rock Cut for a short while to check out some wildlife where we saw some pikas, marmots, and squirrels.
Hungry Golden-mantled Ground Squirrel
Then the next day we woke up at 4am to do our longest hike to date: Flattop to Taylor and out Andrews Glacier. 15+ miles and 4,500 ft of elevation change. The weather was so perfect it was hard to take photos. Not a cloud in the sky all day until we were headed back to the cars.
Coming off the Summit of Hallet Peak
Coming down the boulderfield from Taylor
Panorama from the Boulderfield on Taylor
Group on Andrews Glacier
This was an amazing hike with amazing weather all day. Climbed some mountains, drank some beer, got some sun, glissaded down a glacier, jumped in Andrew's tarn. All in all great day. Here are some of the video highlights...
Then this weekend, yesterday, we decided to do a shorter hike up to Mount Ida. I hadn't been up there yet and I recently saw some photos from the top and decided it was time to see it for myself. We hit the trail about 7:30am and made for the 12,889 ft summit.
Trailhead sign at Milner Pass
The trail the whole way out is in great shape but it is a fairly steep climb initially and then turns into a ridgewalk until the final approach to the summit. We had spectacular weather on the way out but the clouds started to build as we made our way out to the summit.
Section of the CDT closer to the trailhead at Milner Pass.
The ridgewalk out to Ida
We had extremely high winds so it was possible to watch the shadows from the clouds move over the landscape in real time. It was very cool to see.
More views along the trail
Our first views east of the divide onto some unnamed lakes.
Just after this view we started up to the summit. The trail kind of peters out but it is very obvious where to go, up. You basically just need to pick your way through a boulderfield. On the way to the top I can across a ptarmigan family and lots of pikas. Then I made it to the top and was greeted with this view from the summit @ 12,889 ft.
Inkwell and Azure Lakes, Terra Tomah and Julian Mountains from Ida
Of course we had our Summit Sodas...
Obligatory Group Shot
It's really amazing the color difference of the two lakes that are right next to each other.
Lakes seen through the Draw
Then we decided it was time to head back so that we would beat the storm.
The Road Home
All in all we did 9.6 miles and had 3,200 ft of climbing in 5 hours. It would have been great to stay out there longer but it's not safe in the alpine when there are thunderstorms in the area. Hopefully I can get out there this week because I will be in Ft. Collins for the weekend. Then the weekend after that we have our Long's Peak trip just before I turn 30! Only two weeks left, time to do work!
Hope everyone is doing well!