Flattop Mountain, Rocky Mountain National Park

More views from the summit :




The air at this altitude has a distinct and peculiar quality. It has a definite cool, crisp, "sweetish" taste, almost a little pungent. I suspect this is due to the increased levels of ozone and NOX up here, among other things. It may also be due to the lack of pollutants existing at lower altitude. I don't know, but it is definitely real. I noticed this before, the only other times I was 12,000 or more feet above sea level - during skydiving. Maybe it is clean air, and this is the way it is supposed to taste? Kinda like comparing bottled spring water to tap water.

Zoom shots of Hallett's and Longs Peaks from the summit :


The descent begins. I never like this part of these hikes. But this time there was a pleasant aspect to compensate - during descent, the winds calmed down eventually to almost nothing, the temperature rose to something more comfortable, and the air felt thicker. The coat I was wearing, barely adequate at the summit, became very hot and uncomfortable.

Views as the descent begins :