02 August 2016

Trail(less) Tuesday

My Trail Tuesday turned out to be partly trail-less. I ran/hiked a nice little 13er called Square Top Mountain just across the valley from Mt. Bierstadt. As is apparently the case with most 13ers, this did not have a clearly defined trail to the summit. Thus it was a bit gruelling, tromping up the tundra flanked mountain. It was partly cloudy, but not at all in the scary sort of way, just in the way that kept the temperatures low enough to be bearable. I had the trail to myself for the entire ascent. Only on my careful run down the ridge did I start seeing a few hikers. The parking lot was, of course, full of people hiking Bierstadt.

This was my first alpine run. All of the others have been foothills and whatnot. I've saved the space above timberline for 14er hiking. But this was a nice introduction. Even though I could not run to the top, and had to be super careful running down, the trail along the valley floor was quite nice. I will be looking for more runs/hikes like this in the future.
Mt. Bierstadt across the valley

Square Top among the wildflowers

Square Top Lakes and Bierstadt in the background. 

Panorama from the summit. 

Grays and Torreys to the left and Argentine Peak in the center. 

Obligatory summit selfie. 

And the shoes, of course. 

Elephant Heads, my favorite flower.  

So 2.5 hours, 7.5 miles and ended at 13,795 ft above sea level. A satisfying day. 

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