South White Peak Success

Basking in the sun at the top of South White Peak.  Click on the photo to view more pictures from this hike.
We were on such a high after reaching the ski resort summit that we decided to try our hand at South White Peak again.  Also, the weather couldn't have been better.  The wind was very mild compared to what we usually experience when we start this hike at Cuchara Pass.  I was even able to hike most of the day in just a T-shirt!

View Hike 2013-02-05 10:37 by kartoffeln on Breadcrumbs

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Though similar in elevation to the ski resort hike, the 7.3 mile hike up South White Peak was even more grueling.  We changed our approach this time following a ridge up to the tree line then cutting to the back side of the mountain before tackling the steep incline through the woods to the top.  The first portion of the hike follows cattle trails up the foothills.  The recent mild weather and sunny skies yielded freshly melted snow making the first portion a slippery trek through muddy cow poopy terrain.

We had a break once we reached the trees and prepared ourselves for the ever increasing slope.  Once we entered the forest on the back side of the mountain things got really sticky.  We decided to hike up the exposed piles of boulders instead of tackling the snow packed slopes.  Avoiding putting our snow shoes on, we climbed up lichen covered rivers of rock that seemed to be pouring down the mountainside.  After getting to the point where we had to lean forward to avoid falling backward the rock flows ended and the deep snow, protected by the dense vegetation, began.  With snow shoes on we navigated up the final steep slope to the top where it was only a few hundred feet to the clearing at the peak.

Disco Fever
Finally we reached the clearing which turned out to be a massive rock field.  We had been viewing this spot through an old surveying transit from our back porch thinking that it was a nice open meadow at the top of the mountain.  The homogeneous color of the rock was deceiving from afar, but we still managed to have a nice rest at this rocky summit.

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