–attributed to Abe Lincoln
Ever year, a transition happens. The snow melts in the high country and does not leave quite enough for skiing but still too much for backpacking.
My eyes turn to the foothills.
I start to think of hiking and put away the skis for the season.
But there is always one last trip. One last chance to glide along the powder in the shadow of the Continental Divide.
My buddy d-low (aka Broseph Shred-low) invited me out Good Friday for a tour at Brainard Lake sans the weekend crowds. Why was Friday good? Because I was going skiing! Joining us would be my other friend Kevin.
The first part of the skiing was good with some great views to the divide.
Foothills hiking season has started.
And what better way to start this season than with our 4th annual Boulder Super Slam?
This tour of the Boulder skyline takes in 6 peaks, the Mesa Trail and encompasses ~26 miles and 10k elev gain of hiking. A stiff little jaunt to say the least.
Unlike last year, I decided to eliminate the last ~1.5 mile road walk for most of the crew. I parked my car near downtown Boulder and walked up on my own to the start of the hike at Chautauqua at the base of the Flatirons.
The morning was cool and a gorgeous sunrise greeted me before the rest of the crew showed up.
A pleasant start, but I think we were all happy to start up Shadow Canyon and get get to the (increasingly) snowy route of South Boulder Peak.
We attained our first summit, took a quick break and made our way to Bear Peak.
We made the summt and enjoyed one of the better views in Boulder.
From the summit, we could see our (long) day ahead.
We scrambled down Bear, took a quick break in Bear Canyon and ascended again to the still snowy Green mountain.
Our usual spot for lunch, we enjoyed the views of the divide.
At the lunch break, I broke out my secret weapon for the hike..a gas station burrito called THE BOMB! (The link calls it a healthy burrito!!!! )
The ingredients list scared me. The calories, fat, protein and salt content delighted me!!!!
How to top of this gastronomic feast? EXTREME PRINGLES! (Because ordinary Pringles just ain't extreme enough….) And wash it down with coffee! I am a pinnacle of healthy eating on hikes.
THe intrepid crew made our way down the (snowy) north side of Green and looked wistfully of the southern exposure of our next peak: Flagstaff.
We made it to the promised land of dry, snow free trail and started
to hike the progressively lower peaks of Boulder.
Flagstaff was (mainly) snowfree and has an awe inspiring summit just off trail.
…er maybe not?
After summing this mighty summit, we took a quick side trip to the Sunrise Amphitheater . Site of many beautiful weddings , religious services and sweaty, smelly hikers.
The hike continued down to Eben G. Fine park. Along the way, we had a good view of the final few miles and 2500' or so of elev gain left.
Boulder's "forgotten" peak of Anemone was summitted and we backtracked for the final push to Sanitas.
Anemone Hill: One of my favorite short hikes in Boulder. Seriously.
After a final slog, the summit of Sanitas was reached. We took in the grandeaur and all had one thought: IT'S ALL DOWNHILL FROM HERE!!!!
After a quick road walk in the Mapleton area of Boulder, we all arrived at the Mag Wag. The tailgate was opened and the long sought after sodas and beers was passed around!
After relaxing a bit, we posed for the MGP:
After this Tour de Boulder, it was time to eat. And what better food to eat then AYCE Indian food???
Many calories were consumed that somehow tasted better than THE BOMB!
We called it a night and thoroughly enjoyed the first foothills hike of the season.