Escaping The Nutshell

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Scrambling off Big Elk Road (Larimer Co Rd 47)

This was part scramble, part hike. It's a lot of fun running up pure granite when the angle isn't too steep. Of course "too steep" is entirely subjective.

You can see the GPS tracks for this entire hike.

From Lyons we headed up highway 36 toward Estes Park, and turned left onto Big Elk Road (Larimer Co Rd 47). We parked just past mile marker 1, at the first gravel pulloff on the right. Starting at 10:37, we hiked down the road toward the direction we came until the creek went under the road and was no longer an obstacle, then turned left, leaving the road and hiking up the steep slope in the direction of Point 8271.

2013-01-27 Point 8271 from south

2013-01-27 Point 8271 from south

For a January day, this slope was the perfect place to be, bathed in sunshine the whole way up, intermittently hiking and scrambling up the pink granite.

It's also a privilege and inspiration to be in physical contact with rock whose age is on the order of 10^9 years, considering us humans only get about 10^2 years before we're recycled. This granite gets about 7 orders of magnitude more time. That's a lot more experience it gets being in touch with the universe, and I think I can feel that.

We ascended for almost 2 hours, until stopping for lunch at 12:22 (odometer 1.5 miles). It sure is slow going over this rough terrain. At our lunch spot, the terrain had flattened out, being just southeast of the summit of Point 8271.

On our return, we followed the drainage to the southeast for awhile, then headed southwest to easier terrain, then followed the ridge southeast to the creek, crossed over its frozen surface and hopped up to the Big Elk Road.

We returned to our parking place at 14:25, with the odometer at 3.2 miles. The elevation difference from parking spot to high point was 1,752 feet.

GPS data
Place Name Elev [ft] Accuracy [ft] Position (lat,lon)
Parking off Big Elk Road (mile marker 1) 6,902 26 40.27911,-105.38785
Lunch position (our high point) 8,654 20 40.29114,-105.39840

© 2012-2013 Stefan Hollos and Richard Hollos

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