jen yu: south arapaho peak

south arapaho peak

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9 miles
10,150 - 13,397 ft.
indian peaks wilderness, colorado
august 21, 2005

We were hiking with a large group of seven for both South and North Arapaho Peaks. The morning conditions began with high thick clouds that postponed daylight by a half hour. The dynamics of hiking with large groups tend to slow progress, along with some old injuries (and new ones) in the group. But we progressed at a decent pace trying to avoid a chill in the morning winds. At the Fourth of July Mine, we turned northeast and gained elevation across the beautiful alpine meadows leading to the saddle at the base of South Arapaho. Here, you can find a rock shelter in which to have a snack or escape the wind. Or you can walk to the edge to get a view of the Arapaho Glacier - the southernmost glacier in the Rockies and also Boulder's water source.

The last 700 feet follows a half trail, half pick-your-way up the rocky slope to summit. We could see the weather getting worse in the distance over nearby ridges. Periodically you could walk to the edge of the south peak flanks and peer down into the glaciated basin below - fantastic views. At summit, we opted out of North Arapaho Peak - saving it for another day (a better day). On our way back down we encountered trail crews working. Marmots and pika were active in the rocky meadows.

start: 5:45 am
summit: 9:40 am
end: 12:45 pm

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