5K road race start to the day so needed to find a hike that could be completed before any potential inclement weather – and back by 4pm for my first tennis match in years.  SUPER Saturday continues!

Started hike from Loveland Pass with high hopes to see snow (none this day, maybe next weekend :().  Trek began with an immediate 1,000 increase in elevation – kinda felt like jumping on a Stairmaster.  Had I stayed to the left, would have possibly summited today’s goal destination, Mt. Sniktau.  Unfortunately no signs whatsoever.  Asked a young couple descending from one of the high peaks on my near horizon.  Grizzly Peak.  Verified it was a 13er and picked up our pace.

From Loveland Pass (11,992 feet) head eastward following the continental divide to Grizzly Peak (13,427 feet). Doing the math on that might fool you to think it is an elevation gain of just 1,435 feet but there are some ups and downs that push the overall elevation gain over 2,700 feet. Total trip will be around 6 miles with the last ~700 feet having some class 2 scrambling.

Beautiful landscapes & HUGE hills.  Ascend almost 2,000 feet, then descend a thousand feet – the Ironman of 13ers.  Despite running only a few hours earlier, was actually in a great place both mentally & physically this day and even found myself passing other hikers on the trail.  2 false summits, one huge descent, then stood at the foot of Grizzly Peak.

UP UP UP Ro & I climbed until SUMMIT SUCCESS!

Our third 13er of the summer (& five 14ers) – what an amazing year.  Could have never imagined when I started this year’s resolution that I’d be consistently summiting Colorado’s highest peaks by summer’s end.  FAAANNNNTASTIC!

Each prospective weekend I assume this could be our last high climb of the season due to weather.  Maybe this is motivating/propelling our hike success.  Tentative goal for next weekend – Gray’s Peak.

Blog update: Only 30 minutes late to tennis – and I won 6-4 6-3 🙂

 

Doubles

  • 2nd mis-summit (Grizzly vs Sniktau, Torreys vs Gray’s)
  • 2nd hike w/ new CamelBak (birthday gift from my friend Kimberly)

Triples

  • third 13er summit of 2012
  • 5k race, followed by 13er hike, then tennis – SUPER Saturday!

 

Grizzly Peak (summit video)

http://www.summitpost.org/grizzly-peak/152333

 

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2 Responses to hike #36: Grizzly Peak (13,427ft)

  • Christiana says:

    What 13 ER would you recommend for 3 flatlanders – in very good physical condition?
    We will be in Lyons , CO in mid August.
    I’ve done 2 14ers they’ve never done a summit so it would be great to have one that has easy trail access and good markings along the trail. I have read/heard that many 13 or’s are not well marked. Where can I go for good topo maps

    • Hey Christiana – thanks for reaching out. No matter which 13er/14er hike you choose in August, be sure to leave the trailhead early…like crack-of-dawn early. Gotta summit & be on your way back by noon or 1 – afternoon lightning is common here in July/August so you wanna be back within tree line (under 12k feet). Speaking from experience – I was struck in August 2012. Not saying any of this to deter you…July & August are the BEST months for 13er/14er summits…not much snow. Just plan your day accordingly 🙂

      Grizzly Peak is a tough hike — a good one if your group is physically fit. Trailhead at Loveland Pass (super easy to locate), up a thousand feet, hang a right at the cairn & enjoy the day. Hilliest 13er I’ve hiked – lotta up & down…good cardio. Probably 3 false summits before you reach Grizzly & another 2,000ft vertical climb. Well marked – you won’t be doing this alone in August.

      Easiest 14er is Mt Bierstadt — Georgetown exit on I-70, 3 miles thru town, follow signs for Guanella Pass. Lotta parking & a trailhead porta-potty 🙂 Will be crazy busy in August but if you wanna bag a 14er, this is the easiest. Just suck down the water to help you acclimate faster. Eat a little halfway up — don’t wait for a summit lunch, you’ll need the calories.

      James Peak is a good hike – 13er near Idaho Springs…only 30-40 minutes east of Denver on I-70. A mile half up to St Marys Glacier (kinda amazing to see snow in August), then keep on the trail. Pretty well marked. Not crazy strenuous…but seeing a glacier as a flatlander can be a treat.

      Last recommend & closest to Lyons. Within Rocky Mtn Natl Park, Flattop Mountain & Hallett Peak — both are only 12ers but well marked. The view from Hallett Peak is pretty phenomenal. Flattop is boring, flat but on the way to Hallett & a good place to stop for a food break.

      If I had to rank: Bierstadt (’cause it’s a 14er but totally do-able), Grizzly (’cause it’s crazy physical), Hallett (’cause everything in RMNP is pristine – BIG fan of Natl Parks), then James Peak (hiking past a glacier in August, WOW – ‘nuf said).

      Expect to see marmots, pikas & most likely Rocky Mountain goats & bighorn sheep. Colorado is a pretty amazing place — have a BLAST!

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