|Mount Flora Summit|
After a two day break it was time for another summit. Unfortunately the weather has really turned to crap. The forecast was for 60% chance of rain/thunderstorms after noon with winds in the 20’s and gusts of 30mph. Well, those conditions are perfect…yeah right. I met Brian at the TRex lot at 6am, and it was already raining …things are looking up..
Mount Flora starts from Berthound Pass on the Continental Divide Trail (CDT). From Denver drive I-70 West to HWY 40, taking exit 233. Follow HWY 40 up the windy switchback road till you arrive at Berthound Pass where there is a large parking lot. We arrived in the cool frigid air, but the good news is that it was not raining. Brian and I were previously up here in the late winter to climb CO Mines Peak, which starts from this same TH. We were planning a Mount Flora and Breckinridge Peak hike when we left the TH around 7am.
|Clouds Early in the Morning|
I left the car with a light fleece on and shorts. If I had better thought my clothing I would have worn pants, but I didn’t feel like changing. Fog was covering the parking area and we knew we were going to get wet, it was just a matter of time.
The CDT starts at the main gate heading up a utility road. As you can see in the GPS Track, follow the road for the first couple switchbacks then there will be a sign where the CDT splits off the main utility road. From the parking lot it is a little under a mile to the trail sign of Mount Flora and Breckinridge Peak. After the sign it is all trail to the summit, so a very nice class 1 hike. Maybe half mile up the trailed section I started feeling a lot of moisture in the air, so we pulled out our rain gear for the remainder of the hike. As we got closer to the saddle in-between CO Mines and Flora the wind picked up as did the rain.
|The Mountains on the Way Down|
I tried to snap a few pictures of the conditions, but I didn’t want to damage my camera so I only got a couple while in the midst of the storm. After a few snacks we decided to bail on Breckinridge Peak and head back to the parking lot. My fingers were starting to numb up so I put my trekking poles away and had to pocket my hands since I didn’t have gloves. I guess this boy scout was not prepared today. After about 10-15minutes feeling was back and I was good to go. It was a nice hike down along the trail. We ran into three people and one dog heading up. I was surprised to see anyone else would be hiking in this weather, but I guess I shouldn’t be shocked since we were there.
|Me and Brian on the Summit|
Starting Elevation: 11,307ft
Mount Flora summit: 13,146ft
Total Gained Elevation: 1,875ft
Distance: 6.33 miles
Time: 2:52 moving, 0:35 stopped.
Climbing Partner: Brian