Colorado Trail Collegiate Loop 2019 Day Seven

12.2 miles.

We got up early and had a good breakfast before they ran me down to monarch. I had dropped my inreach in the parking lot there when I was picked up on Friday night and someone was nice enough to turn it into the store. Since this was my starting point anyways it all worked out. God watches over sparrows and idiots.

I headed up to a nice ridge before getting rerouted 3 miles for helicopter logging. Had to loose 600 foot of elevation and gain it back. Added about 1.6 miles to my trip.

I stopped for a snack back on the ridge and visited with some mountain bikers. About the time I passed out of the monarch area it started raining and lightly hailing. But it didn’t last long. I saw some ancient stone walls hunters use to use to herd game. I met a few hikers going the other direction. From a CDT thru hiker to a dayhiker out with her dog. Some young guys out on a camping trip, etc. I took it slow and reached 12,552, the high point in the loop about 1:00. I slipped over to the other side of the continental divide and headed down hill on the trail. I got to a small lake and the clouds were rolling over the mountain so I put on my rain gear. A couple with two dogs went by going the opposite direction. I was still about 12k a few minutes later when the sky opened up with hail. Pounding extremely hard. Most of it was sonic ice size but traveling at 50 mph sideways not to mention down. The occasional piece was lots bigger so I crawled as much into a 18 inch high bush and pulled my backpack over me like a turtle. Some of the pieces were big enough I thought I might get knocked out. It kept coming. In the next 20 minutes the ground was several inches deep in ice. As soon as the hail slowed to a slightly less pace I booked it downhill. Often Sliding down the ice balancing myself with my poles. All of a sudden I hear a loud rumble.. the mountain was sliding down. Many inches of hail and flash flooding started a rock/mud/ice slide down the hill. I scrambled to a high point as soon as I heard it and it missed me by several hundred feet. I got down far enough in the trees and guessed at where the trail was going. It was so covered in ice. It was a long time before I dared slow down to take a picture, and at lower elevation it wasn’t as bad. But it turned the trail and mountain into a creek. I sloshed down to Boss Lake and filtered some water that wasn’t as muddy. Then came on down to Boss Lake trailhead and setup my tent. I have lots of things out drying now that the sun is out and most of the hail down here has melted. I’m camping about as low as I can get on this side of the trail, 10,436.

Just as I finished dinner who showed up but my dad and mike! So I’m off to the camper for the night.

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