6.25.2005

Aren't weekends for relaxing?

The new place is coming along. Thursday the carpet installers were there, then that evening I finished up the vinyl tile as I had under-bought. With all of the new flooring and the freshly painted walls it really looks like a whole different place. Friday I moved a bunch of boxes that I had packed the night before; I did a load at lunch and then another one after work. It’s pretty convenient to only be about a half mile from everything, ahh small towns. I decided that I had a choice for Saturday morning, either sleep until nature woke me up and start working again, or get up early and go for hike. I also needed to make a Target run to get some storage solutions for the second bedroom and the laundry closet, so I came up with the perfect plan. Get up early, climb a peak on the way to Target (sort of), go to Target and then start working. I left the house at 6am, and was on the trail by 6.45. I decided to finish off the “Fletcher Group” in the Tenmile Range to the south of Breckenridge (on the east) and Copper (on the west). The only peak out of the five in the group that I didn’t get to last year was 13,841 foot Atlantic Peak, our 86th highest peak. I approached it from the Copper side because of two reasons, one the hike is shorter and more direct, and two the trailhead is a closer drive. The total round trip is about 6 miles and has 2800 feet of elevation gain. I did it in a little over 4 hours and was back at the car at 11am. In fact I was done with all my shopping at Target by noon, so it was quite a productive morning! The approach to Atlantic’s ridge is along a dirt road that access the old Boston Mine, a collection of several buildings that with there easy access are a popular destination. At 7am there was no one around, but on the way back there were about 10 or 12 people wandering around the site. The ridge itself is pretty straightforward, and is visible in almost its entirety from just above the parking area. The biggest drawback is that there is no trail, but that makes it kind of fun. You feel like you are the first person to ever be climbing it, even though you know that isn’t true. The hardest part is actually before the ridge, there is a stream crossing through a grove of chest high bushes that you have to sort of bushwhack through a bit. The stream itself isn’t that wide, all you need is a spot where there are one or two rocks in the middle and it’s a quick hop across. The ridge is all talus, which are large rocks that are created from the freeze thaw cycle on the mountains. Pretty much every peak I have done is covered in it, and it is actually quite nice to climb on. I was the only name in the summit register in the last four days, and there were only about 7 or 8 listed this month total. The views are great, all the other high thirteeners in the group flank the summit, which is the middle of the five, and to the west you can see all the way to the Elks near Aspen. After a brief snack is was back down the mountain and on with my day. I moved a lot of stuff in the afternoon and the “old” apartment is starting to get pretty bare. I should finish most of it up tomorrow and then move the big stuff after work Monday when my friend (with a pick up truck) is back in town.