If you’re lucky enough to be in the mountains, you’re lucky enough!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Celebrate the 4th on the Trails!

We tried to come up with a creative route to include the Section 16 loop on Saturday without having to finish uphill. So we started out at the main trailhead for Red Rock Canyon Open Space and headed up onto the rim to catch the Section 16 connector to Intemann Trail. At the first connection point on Intemann to Section 16, we had to decide whether to climb the brutal side or the "runnable" side of the loop. Since we were already 700' of climbing up the brutal side, we figured we could power hike most of it and enjoy a looooooong runout back to the trailhead on Gold Camp. The Section 16 loop has 1800' raw climb from either side. The side we took does it in just under 2 miles - you do the math. Here is the view about a mile into the climb up Section 16, already well above Red Rock and a fair amount of work still to do!
Once onto the big saddle on Section 16, you have this view across the canyon of High Drive's harsh switchbacks, starting from the lower right and then snaking up the canyon wall. We ran these a couple weeks back after dropping through Bear Creek Canyon. After having this view, it is no wonder they hurt so bad! It was quite a nice morning but the clouds were coming in oh so early from the west - time to get a move on because there is still some real estate to cover.
From the top of Section 16, the reward for the harsh climb is almost 4 miles of descending to the parking area on Gold Camp road. Then we got to climb back up the start of the loop to the Intemann Cutoff and back across to the Red Rock connector. From the high point on Intemann, this is the view north, high above Red Rock, looking out onto the Garden of the Gods.
Back down onto the rim, Kathleen is definitely ready for the descent to Red Rock Canyon trailhead.
One last view from the top of the canyon before heading down!
Steve cruises down the Roundup trail, finishing the day strong but tired! We had a great run, although it got a bit warm for all the climbing. Hope everyone enjoyed Independence Day - Happy Trails!

Shoes - Asics Gel Trabuco
Distance - 12 miles
Elevation gain - 3400'
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