Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Geneva Mountain

Geneva Mountain
My foot had a day to recover so it was time for another hike.  I chose to hike Geneva Mountain from Guanella Pass today.  This would be my first solo hike in quite a while, so I didn’t want it to be too difficult.  I woke at 5am and hit the road around 6am.  The TH is really easy to get to.  Follow I-70 west till you get to Georgetown and take the exit, follow the main road through town directing you to Guanella Pass.  From town follow the road for 12 miles to Guanella Pass.  The entire road is paved so any car can reach the TH.
I parked at the main parking lot on the east side of the road.  Arriving around 7:30am, there was only room for three or four cars in the lot.  If I did this hike again I would park in the upper lot, which has easier access of the Rosalie TH.  After I got my sunblock on I was off on the trail.  I ended up walking to the road over to the Rosalie TH which sits on the southern side of the pass.  There is even room along the road to park near the TH if you desire.  There is a huge map, like most of the Mount Evans Wilderness TH’s, so it is relatively easy to find.
Elk Following Me
The start of the Rosalie Trail appears to be an old road of some sort.  Follow this trail around Point 11990, the trail skirts the east side.  After gaining a little elevation and coming into a flat area you will see a split with a sign for the Rosalie Trail that starts descending.  From this point take a right and follow the old road as it continues to mirror the ridge.  This was a real pleasant hike and it didn’t feel like much elevation was being climbed so it was a nice change.  I started to get the feeling like something was following me; you know that feeling you always have when you’re out alone.  I looked behind me and noticed four elk, so I guess I’m not totally nuts.  They were a ways behind me, but I was able to snap a picture or two, no bull though. 
There will be another split coming up shortly, and you will want to follow the faint road that heads up towards Point 11941.  The road does continue to the point but there will be another road heading parallel eventually, so take a left at that junction.  In my photo album I left notes on the pictures for which way to turn.  From here on there are no more junctions, just follow the faint road till it dies out about midway up Point 12179.
Ptarmigan and Bierstadt
Prior to heading up Point 12179 I had to fix some rubbing in my left shoe.  My pinkie toe was bothering me, so I put a piece of mole skin on which is something I don’t do often, but was glad I had it in my first aid kit.  After the quick fix I was off gaining my first real elevation of the day.  Overall this hike has little gains, so maybe that is why it was so enjoyable.  After gaining this first hump, I could see the two yet to come.  They looked much milder than the first one, so I guess the hard part was over.  I had been eating a cliff shot for each hill, so I had a little incentive to get to each high point.  They went very quickly.
I kept looking to my left and I was getting a new view of Bierstadt all the time.  This was another new angle, so I think I have seen all around the mountain now.  The final two humps didn’t take much time to hike.  There was no trail, but the open tundra was easy walking.  I arrived on the summit of Geneva about two hours after starting from the car.  That was good time; about two miles per hour.  My GPS read 4.05miles on the odometer, and I was kind of shocked I had covered that much in miles already.
Me on the Summit of Geneva
As I was arriving at the summit I noticed a large Ptarmigan on a rock.  As I snapped a few pictures I noticed he had a little guy with him.  I’ve been lucky with all the Ptarmigans I have found hiking this year; they are one of my favorite creatures to come across in the mountains.  The summit was windless and full of mosquitos, flies, and bees.  What can I say, it just wasn’t very hospitable.  I decided to just get some photos, some recon and some just of new angles then start the hike back.  I had my sandwich, but there wasn’t a good resting area that wasn’t covered in bugs.  I snacked on some cookies as I started the hike back along the ridge.  I was feeling pretty good, and my feet were holding up well so I was actually moving decent for a change.
I decided to hold off on my sandwich till I got back to the car, so I just nibbled on some cliff shots to feed the hunger.  Going back over the humps went really fast and before I knew it they were all behind me.  There was nothing noteworthy on the descent, no animal sightings or people for that matter.  It was nice knowing there was a good 100 people hiking Bierstadt and I was the solo person on the ridge to Geneva Mountain.  There is something to be said for small mountains as well, I love them because it’s rare to see people on the little guys.  They aren’t that different from 14ers either other than oxygen, so I don’t know what the hype is with only climbing big mountains.
It was fun to get out solo again.  The funny thing is I did most of my mountains in Idaho solo and they were much more difficult that the mountains here in Colorado.  I think I have only done maybe 5 or 6 mountains solo in this state.  It’s just funny how times change I guess.  This was my 99th unique summit that I have logged on summitpost.  That means my big 100 comes next.  I’m thinking of Otter Mountain and Mount Wilcox for a Friday climb.  But I am going to the Brad Paisley concert Thursday night, so that could get delayed.
GPS Track


Date: 7/31/2013
Starting Elevation: 11,670ft
Geneva Mountain Summit: 12,335ft
Total Gained Elevation: 1,636ft
Class: 2
Distance: 8.05 miles
Time: 3:25 moving, 00:35 stopped. 
Climbing Partner: Solo






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