Mission: Summit Mt. Arkansas (elevation 13,795 ft.)
Who: My wife Siona and myself
Lesson re-learned: You don't need to gain a summit to have a fun day in the mountains.
After having a successful summit of Longs Peak in late July, I spent at least a week hobbling around in pain from my lingering ankle injury. Right about the time I was able to walk somewhat normally again, a rare kid free weekend opportunity opened up. My wife and I decided to take the two huskies up Mt. Arkansas. We choose the 13er to avoid the normal crowds seen on 14ers on the weekends. We were rewarded with a mountain to ourselves.
The hike up Mt. Arkansas is listed on 13ers.com sounds easy on paper. It's barely over 5 miles and less than 3000 ft. in elevation gain. Don't let this fool you. Maybe it was due to my still not 100% ankle, but I found this mountain to be difficult and here's why.
|This was taken on our way down, but we went through these willows twice. See my wife and dogs in this pic?|
The route up this mountain has no trail, it's a bushwhack through the willows and the trees until you reach the tundra. From there it's a steep climb to the ridge which is where the real fun begins. The ridge is some legit talus hoping fun followed by some short class 3 sections which can be bypassed.
|Myself and the dogs headed over to the steep climb up the to the ridge.|
|Views of the Mosquito range.|
|Talus covers this entire ridge.|
|Views of the Climax mine from where Siona and I turned around.|
|Side-hilling is not fun with an injured ankle.|
|My amazing wife and my two huskies enjoying the hike through a field of wildflowers.|