CT mile 122, up and over

at 39.4883, -106.1903

Whew. 3500 feet up, 3500 feet down, and then another 1000 feet up. Even spread out over 18 miles, that’s a lot of up and down.

The section I hiked today, from Breckenridge to Copper Mountain, is one that I have skipped over in the past. My reasons have been impeccable: a big climb with a full pack to get from one ski resort to another is just not that appealing. Especially when there is a free shuttle bus that will take you in 15 minutes.

But the CT goes up and over the Tenmile Range, so that’s where I went too. And there were of course fabulous views from the top: Mt Holy Cross to the west, Mts Massive and Elbert to the south (both so snow covered that my plan to climb Elbert looks dubious), Mts Grey and Torrey to the east; 14ers all.

mile 110 – upwards

mile 112 – Mt Holy Cross

mile 112 – top of the Tenmile

Not bad. But it would have been better if I could have stayed high, rather than heading right back down again. And then heading up.

So I was pretty tired by the time I pulled into the campsite at the junction of Jacque and Guller Creek. An amiable hiker named Tim was already at one site, along with his dog Bear , who kept growling at me. Tim offered to share his site with me, noting that the site immediately above was occupied. I thanked him and said I would go have a look to see what else might be available.

As soon as I headed up a woman who looked to be in her sixties came running over from the creek shouting that the site was taken. I waved in acknowledgement and continued on to see if there might be other sites. She kept shouting “I said that site is taken”. I told her that I heard her, and proceeded past her tent, at which point she completely lost it and began chasing after me, screeching and scolding me for walking near her camp.

At this point it was obvious that she was deranged so I ignored her and continued on. About a hundred yards away I found a site, but she was still following me and carrying on about my misdeeds. Rather than risk camping near a crazy person, I doubled back and camped downstream in a damp meadow below Tim. Although I woke up with a soggy tarp in the morning, I did indeed wake up, not having had a hatchet buried in my head by a crazy woman in the dead of the night, so I guess it was the right decision.