Thursday, May 17, 2012

Bouldering in Boulder

I spent my Sunday morning hiking in the mountains in boulder, Colorado, communing with nature. I took the well-known Chautauqua Trail. Within 10 minutes my throat was burning pathetically, but don't let this picture fool you--the path is entirely uphill.
 The Chautauqua Trail is relatively short, (.05 mi, I think) and it splits off. This is the Blue-Bell Beird Trail, and therefore I assume the blue flowers in this picture are bluebells. The trees are Ponderosa Pines; I saw a lot of these among the Redwoods last year, though those were far thicker.
 Some trails were off-limits due to birding season. While scrambling over a boulder field, I saw a sign warning that anyone climbing or hiking behind it would be fined $1,000 and spend a certain number of nights in jail. This giant rock outcropping was behind the sign. Of course, I veered right to avoid any possible fines or jail time.
I lost the trail after climbing through the boulder fields, and started making my own--I just wanted to make it as high as I could. This picture is looking down. I climbed the wall. It was a lot easier and less terrifying than it looks...
 This wall was above that in the above picture. I climbed this too.
 There was a lovely view from the top, overlooking Boulder and other towns.
 I found a real trail and followed it around to the other side of the mountain. I think this trail is known as the second-to-third flatiron trail. This side of the mountain only shows more mountains. At this point, I was beginning to wonder if I should leave at all. I wanted to keep hiking until I was too tired to go on. But the sky was cloudy and rain threatened.
This is the third flatiron climbing wall, I think. Much of my knowledge is guesswork, since I had no map or anything on me. I wasn't dumb enough to try climbing this. This wall is a lot steeper and scary than it appears.

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