Mount Audubon, Indian Peaks Wilderness

I have lived in 7 states over my life, and all of them make some generic claim to the effect "if you don't like the weather just wait a few minutes and it will change". For most of the places it's just talk, although Michigan might have some legitimate claim to it. However, in Colorado it really is true, especially up in the mountains, as anyone who has lived here for a while will know.

The day started out ok, but the sky started looking freaky about 2 hours into the hike. Most would say to get down out of exposure immediately. But these storms can blow out as quickly as they arrive; more than once I have bailed on a hike only to see clear blue skies an hour later, and be too tired to try going back up. So maybe if I just keep going the sky will clear by the time I start up the peak? Maybe it won't, and I'll just be 1500 feet further up into it!






Approaching the summit from the plateau
but now I can't see the summit. Keep going?



It started getting fierce, especially off to the left. Lightning and thunder
is really weird when it comes from the sides instead of above!


   



This is end of July; I think that snowpack must be there all year long,
it is even visible fron Google Earth.
As I continued toward the summit hill the clouds were getting lower.
and the thunder louder. Shall I go or shall I stay?

   
I ... don't ... think ... so

It was a good call this time. Down at my car 2 hours later
I could see the mountain totally engulfed with dark clouds.

If at first you don't succede, try try again ...





Mount Audubon
Indian Peaks Wilderness
Roosevelt National Forest


by Lloyd Garrick

August 7, 2010



So I came back the next weekend and tried again. And this time it was a totally perfect day.
After making the summit, the lightning and thunder and rain (oh my!) hit me about half way
back down. But who cares then? It was even fun.




This is exactly the same shot as before, only looks a lot better this time!
About a third into the plateau trail; from here it veers off to the right
over and beyond that horizontal ridge, which will be about 1600 feet
above trailhead.

   







On the plateau veering right. You go up the hill
switchbacks and over the right of the ridge.
The summit is to the left out of frame.


Up the hill now; some real goofy rock
on this part of the trail.
The actual summit can be seen here.


Close up of the perpetual snowpack.
Someone was actually skiing on it earlier!
I guess it's cool - where else you gonna
ski in August?
The goofy rock trail is about parallel with the ridge off to the left,
about 1600 feet above trailhead now.
From the start of the plateau you may think you are in for a short
meadow walk towards a small rockpile a short distance ahead.
It is a long walk towards a huge rockpile a long ways away!


It will seem like you are
walking this trail forever!


The summit hill creeps ever closer - slowly


Hard to believe you are half way up
a mountain! It seems like a meadow
walk with a gentle rocky hill in front
of you.





Looking back strait into Boulder
from the plateau.


As you get higher into the plateau
the views behind get better.


Some high-altitude lakes in the distance.
I could just make out sandy shores, cars
and people. Don't know what lakes these
are but they look cool.


Most of the plateau walk is rather
gentle, a mild incline.