Last Saturday, Lauren and I went and hiked up Mt. Evans. We left Denver at about 5:45am and got to the trailhead at the top of Guanella Pass right at 7am. The first two miles or so of the trail was pretty flat but it was still pretty slow going because the trail weaved and disappeared in and out of the Mt. Bierstadt willows. The willows area was really marshy and we ended up making our own trail in a number of places because the trail simply disappeared into the marsh.
At the end of the first two miles, the trail goes straight up into this gully between The Sawtooth and Mt. Spaulding. This ended up taking us a lot longer to get up than we anticipated, because the footing was really loose and it was a lot steeper than the route map seemed to suggest. The top of the gully is a little over three miles into the hike. We gained about 2000 feet of elevation over the one mile up the gully.
Unfortunately at this point we had to turn around because I had to be back in Denver for church. So we ate lunch at the top of the gully and then headed back down. Close to the bottom of the gully, I was turned to help Lauen down a particularly tall step when I heard her give a squeal of exclamation as she slipped and tumbled. Fortunately she tumbled through a willow right to where I was standing and I was able to catch her before she hit this boulder and fell what looked like it would have been about six feet over this drop off.
As we were collecting Lauren, this man that we had seen way up the gully came around the corner, surprising us because he had got down so fast. He then says, "Can you guys look at my face and tell me how bad it is?" His face was covered in blood. He told us that he had slipped on some of the loose footing in the gully and gone head over heels, hitting his face on a rock. By the time that Lauren got him cleaned up, it looked like it was just a bad facial cut, but nothing terribly serious. He took off back on the way down, hurrying to his car to go to the hospital to get it checked out though.
We then continued the rest of the way back down the gully and through the willows back to the car without further incident. After we got back to the car, we joined the traffic going over Guanella Pass to look at the aspens and paused to take a few pictures. We then cruised back into town so I could go to church.
When we got home, Lauren took off and I went and took a quick shower and got ready for church. At this point, I noticed that my cell phone was missing. I ended up 20 minutes late to the pre-service rehearsal because I was tearing the house apart looking for the phone, knowing that Andrea would be freaking out because I was so late calling her. I ended up going to church without finding the phone and called her from church where we deduced that I must have lost it on the mountain somewhere.
The church service went pretty well despite the fact that three of my other brass players didn't show up like they said they would. After the service, I went to the T-Mobile store to get a new phone since we don't have a home phone. I ended up getting a new T-Mobile Dash since I was eligible for an upgrade and Andrea and I had been looking at it anway.
I then went home and spent some time setting up the new phone before going to head to bed. Getting ready for bed, I went to get some ice for some water out of the fridge and managed to crack my eye on the corner of the fridge door, cutting my self pretty good. By the time I had that cleaned up and under control I was really ready to go to sleep at the end of a long day.
Mt. Evans West Ridge from Guanella Pass Route
Photos from the hike