Through Colorado’s Collegiates – Salida to Breckenridge on the CDT

It was hard to leave Salida, especially with a hiker party going on at a brewery, but we got a ride back to Monarch Pass with local Trail Angel Tom and hit the trail. We made it about 9 miles down the trail logging a 15 mile day with a 7 hour town stop in between complete with food, resupply, shower, laundry, and writing my last blog. Boom.

received_10103712375117574

We were excited for this stretch through the Collegiate mountains. Last year on the Colorado Trail, we took the lower Collegiate East route. This time, we took the high route and were oh so glad we did.

May I present Colorado’s Collegiates…

Fotor_152923719922510Fotor_152923735933853Fotor_152923740403679Fotor_152923752436313Fotor_152923762947833

The weather was absolutely perfect, we couldn’t have asked for a better couple of days to take in this mind blowing section. This is quite the ideal year to hike the CDT as we’ve dealt with very minimal snow pack. The Collegiates could be virtually impassable in a typical snow year in June. We were also stoked to see green trees again unlike the dying forests in Southern Colorado affected by beetle kill.

Fotor_152923771964565Fotor_152923780065866Fotor_152923788481971Fotor_152923799459159

Each day through this section brought incredible views and intense challenges as we were climbing 5000-6000 feet per day through pass after pass.

received_10103712377018764
Me and my friend, Hyrobics. She’s a strong athlete I can barely keep up with. I love meeting inspiring ladies on the trail!

Fotor_152923819372139Fotor_15292382713914Fotor_152923834693587

We found a perfect camping spot after a long day. I guess the pika were glad we chose to camp by their rock fort. They attacked like thieves in the night stealing one of my brand new socks from my vestibule as well as chewing off ALL FOUR of our trekking pole handle straps. πŸ˜’

Fotor_15292385014966
This marmot kept sweating us while we made dinner a few miles before camp. Just a reminder: NEVER feed the wildlife no matter how cute they may be!

Fotor_152923857465667Fotor_152923864941141

Our next day was another huge challenge, but oh so rewarding. The Collegiate Wilderness has quickly become one of my favorite sections of hiking despite all the hard work.

Fotor_152923892595915Fotor_152923900559414Fotor_152923907433423

Our final steep climb of the day brought us to Lake Ann Pass. Snow greeted us as we reached the top, and we made a sketchy crossing following the footsteps of our forefathers down a ladder like stair step down the snow.

Fotor_15292392476192Fotor_152923933418128Fotor_152923939956563

received_10103712375097614
This photo taken right before I ended up sliding down the snow. Scary, but it worked out πŸ‘

We made camp after coming down from the pass. I sincerely can’t wait to come back here and bring some friends. We were blown away.

Fotor_152923949581332
Handsome husband, ranch corn nuts, and an insane backdrop. So much right with this picture.

Fotor_152923956561538received_10103712269040154Fotor_152923984474537

Fotor_152923968701012
I love Colorado’s state flower, the columbine!

The next morning, we had one final pass to climb – a mere 2400 ft in 2 miles over Hope(less) Pass. A few miles later we walked into the tiny town of Twin Lakes and left the Collegiates behind us.

Fotor_152923994311425Fotor_152924001364247received_10103712269030174Fotor_152924007572828

We killed a little time in town before heading back into the woods. We camped 65 miles from Highway 9 to Breckenridge and wondered if we could accomplish the stretch in just two days. Well – ready, set, go!!

Sean led the way breaking camp at 5 am both days, and we pushed to see what we could do skirting Mt. Elbert and Mt. Massive on our first day. We were proud we accomplished our biggest day on the CDT – 32.5 Miles – but were unsure if we could do another 31.5 miles the next day including two huge climbs.

received_10103712268296644

We woke up early once again knowing if we could make our goal town dreams would come true. We hiked 17 miles by 12:30 and arrived at Copper Mountain resort. The weather broke as we sat and enjoyed tall coffees. After our break, we put on our rain gear and set out for our next big climb and 16 more miles to town.

Fotor_152924019358687Fotor_152924027892773Fotor_152924034480669

Fotor_152924074846512
Hiker chic – so stylin 😎

We were so thankful the weather held up as we pushed ourselves up and over a mountain dreaming about Breckenridge – particularly the vegan pizzeria we enjoyed last year as we passed through on the Colorado Trail. We made it – exhausted and excited – to the highway at about 8:20 giving us 40 minutes to make pizza dreams come true at Piante Pizzeria. We were so stoked to get a hitch just in time. We grabbed our pie and headed to our cozy room proud of the 65 miles we had traveled in a mere two days.

Fotor_152924062040623
Dreams. Came. True. πŸ€€πŸ•πŸ€€

Follow here, on Facebook, and Instagram as we continue our hike on the CDT from Mexico to Canada!!

3 Comments on “Through Colorado’s Collegiates – Salida to Breckenridge on the CDT

  1. Thank you for sharing the great photos and stories. I’m really looking forward to this section. Those steep snow traverses scare the crap out of me. I also had a slide. Mine was on the PCT in the Marble Mountains. Glad you were okay.

    • You are most welcome. It was just so pretty everywhere! I’m lucky the rocks stopped by slide without scraping me up. Good luck and enjoy your hike!!

  2. Pingback: Changing Landscapes: Colorado into Wyoming on the CDT

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: