Friday, July 27, 2012

Hiking in the Colorado mountains

After a few days of acclimatising to the altitude we got out for a few walks to see some of the geology and spectacular scenery of the Rockies. We tried to take one or two of the dogs on most of these trips to get them out and about. They did get rather hot, and would jump into any water they could find to cool off. William on the other hand had his own sherpa and flash backpack. He was quite fascinated by the trees and scenery, but occasionally had enough and had a grump, or if we were lucky fell asleep. 

The first walk was near Steamboat Springs, Fish Creek to the falls with little Sacha in tow. He loved to splash in the river when he got the opportunity.

 William and his sherpa, Gill, Helen and Sacha

Sacha and Helen playing in Fish Creek

Fish Creek Falls

Another day we headed out around Lower Cataract Lake with the big dogs. This was a cruisy walk around the lake, although Maxx didn't like the river crossing at the far end as the bridge was broken and it was slippy.

Lower Cataract Lake with the aspen and pine forests

After the couple of walks at lower elevation we decided to try something a little harder and set off to climb Buffalo Mountain at 12777 ft/3895 m overlooking the local town. We set off, but soon came to a large boulder field which required some good balance and scrambling and this became very difficult for Gill to negotiate while carrying William in the backpack. So she hung out and then slowly made her way down while Aaron and I continued to the top. When we were 100 m from the top we heard our first thunder roll and so raced to the top to get a quick photo and then headed down. 

Gill and William at the start of the boulder field

Aaron almost at the top of Buffalo Mountain overlooking Silverthorne, Dillon and Dillon reservoir

Storm coming in while we were at the top of Buffalo Mountain

Finally on our last full day in Colorado we headed over to Vail and on the way we headed up Shrine Mountain from Vail Pass. This was spectacular with lots of great red sandstone/conglomerate outcrops and amazing views of the surrounding mountains. 

Red cliffs on Shrine Mountain above Vail Pass

Aaron, Gill, William, Maxx and Helen on Shrine Mountain

No we didn't do any 14,000 ft mountains.... maybe next time, but to be honest there are lots of great walks to do around this area without bagging the big ones.

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