4th of July Weekend

Happy 4th everyone, well happy 6th anyway... Hope you all had an enjoyable and productive weekend. I got to do a little bit of everything it seemed. Friday after work Tracy came up and we went on a short Gore Range hike to Lost Lake. It wasn't too hard to find, just follow the trail 3 miles and 500 vertical feet and you can't miss it! There are some great views of the Ripsaw Ridge to be had from the area, inspiration for future climbs! Saturday we headed down to Monitor Rock near Twin Lakes. This area is south of Leadville on the way to Aspen via Independence Pass. There are several great rock climbing routes here. Our original plan was for a 5 pitch route up the "nose" of the rock, but it started to get cloudy so we decided to stick with single pitch rocks. The first one Tracy led on trad, which meant she had to place her own protection as she went up. This is more complicated than a top rope route (just attach a rope to a top anchor and run it down the cliff) or a sport route (clip into fixed bolted anchors along the way). After that route we went over to a sport route that was close to 200' tall. The route was rated as a 5.10b and while I struggled with the crux (hardest) sections, I was able to fight my way through and make it to the top! The rain then started to move in and it was time to head out. We stopped in Leadville for some lunch on the way back though.

That night we camped at Halfmoon Pass on the way to a climb of Mt of The Holy Cross via the Angelica Couloir. We had both already climbed Holy Cross, but it is a beautiful peak and we figured it was worth the reclimb! After the climb she headed back to Denver to pick up the boys from their dads, they had been on vacation. There is a trip report I wrote on one of the mountain sites I belong to of our climb here:


Monday I had to work, but our town had the annual fireworks celebration that evening. My friend Drew had a BBQ at his house, which overlooks the town park and gave us a nice view of the show without all the crowds! It was entertaining watching all the cars leave afterwards, especially knowing I could just walk home... Tuesday Tracy was hanging out with the boys so I went for a hike on my own near my house. I went back to the Holy Cross Wilderness, but this time to a series of lakes and trails to the south of the peak. I started out by hiking the Missouri Lakes trail, which passes a beautiful section of the creek as it cuts through a chasm. It then climbs up to the Missouri Lakes, a series of lakes in a high basin surrounded by rugged peaks. The highest lake is at 11,500', above which the trail continues on to Missouri Pass at just under 12,000'. There was still some snow around the pass, and the trail below was quite muddy from all of the snow melt as this area struggles to join summer. The trail then drops towards Treasure Vault Lake where it meets a 3 way junction with some other trails. One of those trails heads up to Fancy Pass, which is on the opposite end of the ridge from Missouri Pass at 12,300'. Here I stopped for a snack break before descending the snow covered trail to Fancy Lake. Below the lake the trail was dry as it followed some switchbacks along the side of yet another chasm. From the base there is a great view of the falls on Fancy Creek. The trail then winds its way through the forest before ending at the trailhead, a mere 1/4 of a mile from the Missouri Lakes trailhead. This loop is about 10 miles round trip and provides a nice tour of the area. Now it is back to work to finish off the short week before another adventure filled weekend!