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07 July 2007 @ 07:37 pm
Flattop Mountain  
Was feeling better yesterday, and fine by the time I went to bed last night (did I not mention that I was feeling crappy? No? Well, let's just say, going to the party I went to on the 4th wasn't a mistake, so much as eating then. I'd been feeling iffy since the day before)...

Anyway, felt fine. Went hiking. Climbed Flattop Mountain in Rocky Mountain National Park (er, 8.8 miles round trip, 2,849 feet vertical gain, to an altitude of 12,324 feet. A slow five hour to five-and-a-half hour round trip). A reasonably difficult hike, vaguely equivalent to the top part of Fuji, I guess. It made me tired (and the more I do this, the more I think I should just be lazy and start at fifth station, not Fuji-Yoshida proper).

Was a bit late getting to the trailhead (9AM -- I'd slept through my alarm and woke up an hour late) but got back okay despite being a little worried about that; only felt a few drops of rain near Bear Lake right before making it back to my car. It rained a good bit of the drive home, though.

I saw a snake at about 10,400 feet, which surprised me greatly -- I know that the range of the rattlesnake doesn't get above 8,000 feet or so, so I assumed that was true of all snakes. Apparently not.

Kinda forgot my sunscreen. Burned a little bit, but I think it'll mostly turn into tan.

There are pictures, of course. Also, figured out the macro on my camera, so got a couple decent bumblebee pictures up in the tundra. As usual, click through for all the pictures:

Wildflowers on high:

In the mood: soresore
Laurel Amberdineamberdine on July 8th, 2007 02:33 am (UTC)
Wow, so many pretty flowers! I would never have imagined them growing way up there.

Some mighty high-flying bees, too.

I was glad you showed a little of the trail. I wondered what kind of path it was. Must be pretty steep in places. I feel tired just thinking about it.
Douglas Triggs: quandrydoubt72 on July 8th, 2007 12:41 pm (UTC)
Well, it never really gets that steep... It is fairly unrelenting, though.
asakiyume: Monument Mountainasakiyume on July 8th, 2007 12:16 pm (UTC)
These flowers were the prettiest of the bunch, which is saying a lot, because they were all really pretty.

Why don't wildflowers bloom on Flattop Mountain in September? Is it that it's too dry?

What was the temperature like up there?
Douglas Triggs: wildflowersdoubt72 on July 8th, 2007 01:01 pm (UTC)
Because it's too late in the season -- with the short alpine summer, wildflowers bloom as early as they can; if they waited until September, they'd risk being snowed under for the rest of the year.

It was probably up to about 75 or 80 degrees (hot!) given that it hit 100 or so in Denver. Wasn't very windy, though. On the divide up there, the wind can really blast through (if you look at the topology, it's just one big "shield" rising from the west), but today I was never really tempted to put on my shell.