Monday, September 24, 2012

Mt. Rosalie and the Weekend

With the great weather, and summer clinging on by its fingertips, I managed to get out for some fun in the local hills, including a nice tempo effort (and some bushwhacking/exploring) on North Table Mountain and a early morning jaunt up Mt. Rosalie (13,575) early Sunday morning.

First up was a loop around North Table Mountain. JeffCo Open Space all summer has been building new trails in this open space gem. The trails are all well-graded and solidly constructed, which lends them to speedy runs.

I opted to run from the west trailhead, up the steep access road. After a quarter mile up or so, I peeled off onto a well-trodden social trail I'd been eyeing for some time. The trail contours on a bench around the west and south sides of the mountain before ascending up through a break in the rocks that line the south side.

Up top, I continued east and descended down through a climbing area to the Access Fund's lot at the bottom near Highway 58. I was hoping for a decent social trail to take me over to a new section of the North Table Mountain loop. Alas, there was no trail, so I bushwhacked over.

From there, it was a speedy run on the North Table Mountain Loop Trail, up Cottonwood Canyon to the Mesa Top Trail, then back down to the North Table Mountain Loop Trail and back to the car.

8.6 miles.

Looking southwest from social trail on west side of North Table Mountain
Next up was an early Sunday morning hike/run up and down Mt. Rosalie, one of the 13'ers alongside Mt. Evans in the heart of the Mt. Evans Wilderness.

I started my day in the near dark at the Deer Creek Trailhead, heading up the Tanglewood Trail, which ascends four miles or so to a beautiful, grassy saddle that is the Park/Clear Creek County line.

The saddle on the Tanglewood Trail in the Mt. Evans Wilderness.
A lone post marks the pass, and serves as a handy marker for a place to hang a left for the cross-country, 1,600-foot climb to the rounded hump that is Rosalie's summit.

Mt. Rosalie summit marker.
The ascent is a straightforward grind up through open tundra, with a few rocky spots here and there. After one false summit, the climb eases and the summit quickly appears. While the views are great, and the terrain inspiring, Rosalie itself is not an impressive peak. Just a big globe-like hump. Mt. Epaulet, next door, is a much more impressive-looking mountain.

Looking west from the summit of Mt. Rosalie
Looking down the east flank of Mt. Rosalie toward saddle. 
Descending back down the Tanglewood Trail on newly constructed singletrack.
Bristlecone pine snag and younger tree.

Still some color left down low, near the trailhead.
 Setting aside my 'dissing of Rosalie, it really is a great hike/run, especially the section of the Tanglewood Trail through the bristlecone pine stand and the parts above treeline. Simply gorgeous.

10.7 (or so) miles.  (I neglected to turn off my watch during most of the drive home.)

1 comment:

  1. The colors above tree line right now are stunning! Way to get after it up there before winter comes roaring in.