August 31, 2012

Colden Loop

4,714 feet  |  ranked 11/46 in height  |  16th peak climbed

My sister was my hiking partner again for Colden; what a relief to find a partner eager to climb more than one mountain per year (my husband's self-imposed limit).  Neither Erin or I had been through Avalanche Pass before, so we decided to make a loop of the hike, ascending via Lake Arnold and returning through the pass. 

Much as Street and Nye did with regard to "trailless" peaks, this hike boosted confidence with regard to hike length.  We've already completed most of the hikes that total 10 miles or less, and it was empowering to choose the longer and more challenging return route through the pass rather than go back the way we came.  And so rewarding!  Avalanche Pass is truly amazing. 

At Lake Arnold
On the false summit, with the true summit looming
Looking back at the false summit
On the summit ridge
Someone jerk stole the benchmark
On the summit, with Marcy, Gray, and Skylight behind us
Hightailing it off the summit ridge as a thunderstorm approached
Heading down
Flowed Lands and Lake Colden
Juncus trifidus, Arctic rush
It rained just enough to make the descent a bit slick, but quickly blew over.  Blue skies again for Avalanche Lake.
Trap Dike
Hitch-up Matildas

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