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Monday, August 27, 2012

Lincoln via Quartzville

Date:   August 25th, 2012
Mission:  Family climb of
Mt. Lincoln (elevation 14,286 ft.)
Who:  Myself, my wife Siona, my daughter Delaney, and my two huskies (Altai, and Miliya)

Length:  About 6.5 miles from the Quartzville trailhead

Elevation gain: 2800 ft.

Late last November I had hiked Democrat, Cameron and Bross, but had bailed on Mt. Lincoln due to insane wind conditions.  With my recent hikes re-aggravating my right knee, I decided an nice easy hike up Lincoln sounded like a good way to "rest" my hurt knee.  My wife and daughter decided to join for this one.  We also took the dogs with us.

We left the house at 3:15am and arrived at the Quartzville trail-head at 5:45am.  The Quartzville area is a maze of dirt roads.  Pay close attention to directions when navigating this area.

We were on the trail and making our way up Lincoln with our normal alpine start to avoid t-storms, crowds, etc.

Alpine sunrises never get old.
My daughter and her famous half smile.

At the beginning of our climb it was pretty chilly, probably <  40 degrees with a slight wind that would chill you to the bone.  We were however geared with hats & gloves to start the day.  It did warm as the day went on.  

We weren't in any rush to the summit and took our time and took time to enjoy the journey and spend some time together.  We also took many short breaks to water the dogs. 

The trail from Quartzville is not the standard route up Mt. Lincoln.  The standard route is from Kite Lake.

My beautiful wife taking in the sunrise.

The Kite lake route is probably slightly more interesting in my opinion, but I did that in November with a decent amount of snow out there too.  

This summer Saturday, my main concern was avoiding crowds.  People that know me also know that I'll go to great lengths to avoid crowds, people, traffic, and anything that represents a sea of humanity.  Thus, the reason we were hiking up from Quartzville. 

The climb was pretty uneventful, so I'll just let the pictures do the talking.

This trail is easy.

Every time we stopped, Miliya would pout and whine.  She hates not moving.

When we reached this gate in the road, we just went left (up) and made our way thru trail segments to the summit.

Delaney with a challenge in front of her.
Near the summit, my wife took the dogs and split off from Delaney and I.  Delaney and I took a direct class 2 route up to the summit, while my wife took the trail around the back of Lincoln.  My wife apparently decided to take a stroll over to Mt. Cameron (elevation 14,238 ft.) too.  I'd already been over to Cameron last year, and my daughter didn't want to go, so we just hung out on the summit of Lincoln, eating snacks, taking pictures, and having fun.  We were on the summit at 9:00am.

Delaney on the summit of her 4th fourteener.  She tells me that she doesn't like hiking 14ers even though I can see how proud she is of herself on every summit we've been to.
Me on the summit of Lincoln.
My wife on the summit of Mt. Cameron with a couple other people.
My wife making her way up to the summit of Lincoln.

Family summits are always better than ones I get by myself.

After eating a bit, the crew is refueled and ready to go.
My wife smoking me down the mountain as usual.  My bad knee = slow descents.
I'm a proud Daddy what can I say.
An old mineshaft.  Take a wide step around these guys.
On the bottom right you can see our silver truck.  It's at this point on every hike my daughter triumphantly yells "Civilization!"

On the way home, we stopped in Bailey for lunch.  Then as we were getting on C-470 from 285, right as we merge onto the highway, the car in front of us locks up his brakes.  Smoke is flying everywhere and then we see him go off the road, through a huge street sign at the 285 southbound off ramp.  

We stopped and made sure the driver was OK.  He was fine, although his car was totally fubar.  It was just another reminder that life is short, and everyone should live every day like it may be your last.  Don't ever delay in giving your kids a hug, or telling your wife how much you love her.

I've been getting several of these reminders lately.  Witnessing the car crash on Saturday, followed by nearly crashing my motorcycle on Sunday, and then finding out Monday that a well respected member of my family died in a rock slide on Hagerman Peak.  RIP Rob.

I told my family of this and my daughter said "But Dad, you don't have to worry, because you are invincible."  The funny thing is, I used to believe this up till a couple years ago.  I am having doubts now though.  Guess I am officially getting old.

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