Collegiate Peaks High Adventure 2011 – Day 4
Today would have a little bit of everything. We broke camp and hauled our packs a couple of miles down the trail where we stashed them in some trees and made ready for the Mount Yale climb after sending Henry on his way.
We were in store for a great day weather wise, and the mood was good in the group after having our fill of great food the night before.
The routine of waking up in a tent, breaking camp, and getting out on the trail was a familiar one now. I was amazed at how well everyone was holding up and excited to think that we might actually pull this off.
Once we switched to our day packs we were all business for a while as we motored up the steep climb. Knowing that we had a long day ahead helped to spur our pace, as well as the thought of pizza waiting for us in Buena Vista!
When we climbed above treeline the massive views opened up to us once again. By now the landscape was very familiar to us and we could easily pick out the surrounding peaks and other landmarks.
After a final pitch through the boulders we topped out and enjoyed the second summit of our trip.
We all passed around Tyler’s phone again (his was the only one to get signal) and made the requisite celebratory calls and text messages. Different world we live in these days…
All too soon, it was time to start the trip down. The hiking was enjoyable as we had an immense landscape sprawled out in front of us.
The heat really started to build the lower we went. I ran out of water and was super happy to refill my bottle once we made it back to where we stashed the packs.
From there it was about a mile and a half to the trailhead where we had dropped a car on Monday. It seemed a LOT longer than that, but we made it out just fine. Then we had to go grab the other car from our starting location before we could head into town for some much needed grub.
We destroyed 3 large pizzas in short order and then made our way north up the highway for our final campsite at the ghost town of Winfield.
Winfield is a great place to camp. You are surrounded by high peaks all around and there is a nice meadow and lots of space. It is also the 50 mile turnaround point for the Leadville 100 trail race. We hit the sack early in anticipation of a 4:30 wake up and our biggest day yet.