Utahan friend Kimberly flew out for Labour Day weekend – arriving soon after my 10 mile road race finish on Saturday.  Weekend plans included lunch on Pearl Street in Boulder, dinner at Empire in Louisville, church (received my first church calling – Young Men’s), an all fresh/all homemade/all Mexican birthday dinner (LOVE LOVE fresh veggies, herbs – and everything guac), movie night at the Pypers (where Kimberly stayed w/ Annie, Ted & baby Anders), followed by…   my week 35 hike, James Peak 🙂

Since dad had play friend activities over the 3-day holiday weekend, Ro was more than ready for this week’s hike challenge.  (Ro did visit the McCaslin dog park Sunday morning so he wasn’t completely neglected.)

James Peak, our 2nd 13er of the year, is located a few miles past St. Mary’s Glacier in Alice (near Idaho Springs).  I’m a bit apprehensive when planning hikes with non-Colorado visitors because our high altitude climate generally zaps their strength.  Honestly, I want to ‘show off’ my Colorado – not have folks leave [our state] feeling nauseous & exhausted.  Kimberly said she was a hiker and wanted a challenging trek.  After this day not sure if a 13er was enough…she was SUPER hiker.  I’m re-inspired!

Took one shot near the top of St. Mary’s Glacier, then sped past treeline across tundra grasses & willow thickets yellowed by the impending fall season.  Winds blew cold this day so pulled on a thermal Henley early and packed gloves – just in case.

Pushed past multiple switchbacks until SUMMIT SUCCESS!  Snapped some pics while enjoying our survivalist-style lunch (really gotta beef-up my lunch prep skills when I have guests…argh!)  Kimberly checked the time ‘cause she could (ya’ll know I gave up my cell phone last February).  We would have to make double time down – Kimberly’s plane leaves at 3pm.

Cairn curse…again.  Rock piles just aren’t great trail markers past treeline.  Luckily on today’s hike, I had a good navigator along when we needed to bushwhack through a quarter-mile of thicket (ouch – but could’ve been much worse).

Back on trail, hiked down & over a section of melted glacier, then safely/quickly back to the Prius.

Time check – 1:30pm…with an hour drive ahead to Denver.  Maybe cell phones aren’t so bad after all – certainly helped Kimberly when she needed to reschedule her return flight to Salt Lake 🙂

No regrets.  AWESOME hike day!


protrails.com – James Peak


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