Monday, November 12, 2007

Of the Grueling Four-Pass Hike Around the Maroon Bells, Part the Second

An account of the Four-Pass Loop around the Maroon Bells is probably not of much interest, as it would mostly be a series of superlatives about how gorgeous the scenery was from atop each of the four high passes and in the valleys between them where we camped. Other than running a bit of the trail to try to get help for a climber who was thought lost on Snowmass Mountain (she was fine in the end), the biggest bit of excitement was this: After the long, arduous ascent up the boulderfield on the first pass, your faithful correspondent took a long drink from his trusty Nalgene™ water bottle. He then set it down, and it started to slide, then roll down the trail, and then it hit a big rock and bounded straight down the side of the mountain, bouncing off of more rocks, launching itself at least 15 feet up on each bounce and then crashing down to the rocks even further down the slope until it came to rest some 150 yards down the hill, and where, after a slog back down the hill, your correspondent found it - intact! It was unbelievable. If any representative of the makers of super-tough Nalgene™ products is reading this, feel free to send a check.

Your correspondents thought themselves to be equally bad-ass for doing the whole 25-mile roller coaster in three days, until they met a guy doing the whole thing in one day near the end of our trip.

Anyway, the above picture is a full 360 degree panorama from the top of Buckskin Pass. (For those who bother to click to see it bigger - the Maroon Bells are on the right side of the valley to the right of The Lovely Katherine, across the valley to the left of her are Snowmass Mountain and Capitol Peak.)

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