Escaping The Nutshell
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A crusty old RMNP ranger hands me a map and newspaper, "It's free today", and off we go.
Upper Beaver Meadows road is closed so we park on 36 and start hiking straight up the SE side of Deer Mtn at about 10:40. No snow just lots and lots of deer shit. Other than that it's a pleasant go. One steep spot on rock takes a little scrambling.
Near the top snow shows up. Avoid most of it until suddenly and unexpectedly we're on the summit at 11:58. Summit views of: Twin Sisters, Estes Cone, Eagle Cliff Mtn, entrance station at Beaver Meadows, Lake Estes, with Longs Peak shrouded in clouds.
Looks like only 2 sets of tracks up to and leaving the summit via the standard trail. Follow them down. Now the snow really gets deep and we break through often. Bare legs wading through deep snow. Feet start to get wet.
After a half mile more tracks appear and the first humans. Middle aged couple nice and friendly. Snow gets harder and easier to walk on. The closer we get to the trailhead, the more people appear and the less friendly they become.
We reach the trailhead, cross 36 and take the trail down to Beaver Meadows. See only one guy running up the trail. Get down to the B. M. road and stop for lunch next to the helipad.
A large panorama of snow covered mountains. Clouds of all types and shapes in the sky. The sun breaks through as we eat. Blue sky starts to mix in with white and gray clouds. Elk are also eating lunch in the meadow below. A short walk and we're back at the truck.
You can see the tracks for this entire hike.
The altitude difference from lowest (parking at 8349 ft) to highest (summit at 10077 ft) was 1728 feet, and the total distance traveled was 6.2 miles.
|Place Name||Elev [ft]||Accuracy [ft]||Position (lat,lon)|
|Intersection of Hwy 36 and Beaver Meadows Rd||8349||20||40.36981,-105.59177|
|Deer Mtn summit||10077||16||40.37931,-105.58440|
© 2012-2014 Stefan Hollos and Richard Hollos
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