Saturday, December 09, 2006

More Mount Rosa
Photo: The Sangre de Cristo range as seen from the summit of Mt. Rosa. That's the iced-over Rosemount Reservoir in the left foreground.

9 December, 2006: I've climbed Mt. Rosa (11,504 ft.) 17 times before, but never in December. Thus, a mild and sunny day in December was too good an invitation to turn down.

I had originally arranged to go with partner through (although Rosa isn't a 14er!), but his work schedule forced him to back out at the last minute. So I went solo to add yet another month to my Rosa resume.
There was only a little snow on the lower sections of the trail, and most of it was hard and easy to walk over in the morning chill. I was glad I had brought my long gaiters, though, as I lost the trail in the last section, as it was covered in up to three feet of snow, and had to do some rather slow bushwhacking and postholing. The ridge is easy to follow, however, and the summit did not disappoint, with marvelous clear-skies views of the Sangre de Cristo range off to the south, the southern Sawatch to the southwest, and Pikes Peak to the northwest.
As there was virtually no wind, it was actually more pleasant on the summit than it had been when I was there four weeks before! With better conditions (i.e., summer!) I've made the round trip in the same time it took me to do the ascent this time. It was still a rewarding adventure, especially since I didn't see a single other person on the trail! The most recent entry on the summit register was from the 27th of last month.


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