Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Running Mount Neva and Arapaho Pass: Indian Peaks Wilderness

Here in the Northern Colorado Rockies, we have had a slow start to the alpine trail running season. Usually by this time most of the peaks are free of major snow patches and the trails are relatively dry. Not this year. We have had consistently cool days and nights, so the snow has stuck around longer then usual. No problem, you just have to be willing to get a little wet...
Mount Neva and Arapaho PassMount Neva is on the left, we ran up to the pass and then took the north ridge to the top.

Today, Tara and I decided to see how the Arapaho Pass (11,906 feet), Caribou Pass (12,110 feet) area was doing. This is one of our standard trail runs during the summer, as it is easy to access and can be banged out either before or after work. The trail up to the pass is 90% dry, with only a few sections of snow that one has to post hole through. Getting to Caribou Pass, however, is still difficult. The usual route around the north side of Mount Neva (12,814 feet) is still snowed in. So, instead we decided to cruz up Neva's north ridge and tag the top.
Looking North to the Never Summer Range and the Indian PeaksLooking north from the top towards the Never Summer Range and RMNP.

Neva is a great mountain, with outstanding views on all sides of the Continental Divide, Grand Lake to the west and the Gore Range, the Never Summers to the north, and Mount Evans and James Peak to the south.
The Gore Range from the top of Mount NevaThe Gore Range from the top.

trail running up Mount NevaPart of the ridge to the top of Neva

The storm clouds came as usual, and by the time we were heading down things started to look ominous. A classic trail run in the Colorado Rockies: snow, water, thin air, crisp temps, and amazing views. Who could ask for more?
Tara running the talus up Mount NevaTara running up the talus to the ridge of Mount Neva

Trail running down Mount NevaMe running down; see the clouds building in the background...

And of course, there are the wildflowers just starting their season...
Alpine flowers on Mount Neva
If you are stuck on numbers, here they are:
Elevation Gain: ~2,694 feet
Distance One way: 4.2 miles
Arapaho Pass elevation: 11,906 feet
Mount Neva elevation: 12,814 feet

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