Monday, September 24, 2007

Update from mega-hiker Andrew Skurka

Salida, Sept 18. Andrew e-mailed this update to his mom, who has just sent it out to his e-mail group:
Silverthorne to Monarch Pass
The highlight of this section was the Sawatch Range south of Twin Lakes.The trail from Silverthorne had some fine walking (notable in Eagles Nest Wilderness and around Searle and Kokomo Passes) but it lacked the colors, grandeur, and novelty of the southern 70 miles. The aspens right now are glowing gold, resulting in swatches of colors across the mountainsides. The Sawatch Range is home to Behemoth Peaks --- many 14-ers and 13-ers and 12,000-foot passes -- that have huge scree fields and huge elevation range profiles (up to ~5,500 feet from base to summit ). And I've never been back into the Sawatch Range. -- the Colorado trial contours the east side on a non-motorized viewless route where as the Continental Divide trail penetrates the interior, unfortunately often having to follow dirt bike and jeep roads to do it. (I still prefer the scenery. )
Late-night excitement continued with a 9-mile headlamp-lit trek from Bald Mountain to Monarch Crest/US 50. The tread was poorly defined across the alpine tundra; there were "lightening strikes" approaching from the west; and the chilly and damp wind had me wearing nearly every piece of gear in my pack. I should have thought to bottle up some of that daylight from Oregon and Washington back in June and July --- these 13 hour days sure make it tough to keep rolling out the 35 and 40 mile days.
More great stuff ahead.

No comments: