Aspen Trip, Sept 25th-26th, 2010

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We had a sweet pre-fix dinner at Elina Saturday night in Aspen:


The full campgrounds turned out to be a blessing in disguise, as we crashed at the Maroon Bells Trailhead instead, where a full moon illuminated the freshly snow powdered Bells. The white snow gave sharp definition to these mighty and foreboding peaks. A few people were out at the lake taking midnight photos of the Bells. I joined them, and tested out my long exposure skills. Later, Wendy slept in the Honda CRV trunk, while I slept under the stars in the parking lot.



The next morning, the parking lot was a hub of activity by 5:15am, as TONS of photographers converged to photo-shoot the Bells. I finally got up ~6:20am and Wendy and I joined the crowd for sunrise (7am), while cooking breakfast on our stove.



We hung out near the "front of the photographer line"...



There was at least 100 people lined up along the lake taking pics. Popular photo spot, and deservedly so...

After sunrise, we went back to the car and prepped for a hike up to Buckskin Pass (9 miles RT, 2880' gain). The sun was still creeping into the valley when we started out.



We passed by North Maroon, and I admired the route up this 14er, which I planned to climb next year...


We reached the top of the pass in 2hr 50 min. Views would have been better in the summer, with more greenery and snow on the peaks...


Close-ups of Snowmass and Capitol...


... Pyramid and North Maroon...


A goat checked us out just before we started the descent...


A couple goats (small white objects) run away, towards North Maroon...


Wide view of Pyramid and North Maroon, during our descent...


Back in the valley, Pyramid peeps out above the foliage...

Orange aspen on the hike back to Maroon Lake...





Wendy changes into the new dress she bought at the Ute Mountaineer shop in Aspen (great deal!). Some kids play in a fountain in downtown Aspen.


Wendy gets ready to eat a dessert crepe after our late lunch / early dinner, before driving back to Fort Collins...

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