Blogroll
Living Colorado Archives

Recent Posts

Monthly Archives

« Amazon: “Your blog is dead.” | Main | Time to Rebuild »
Wednesday
Jan232013

Mount Harvard & Horn Fork Basin

Ryan Fonkert Photography - Mount Harvard

I never got around to writing about it, but last June a friend and I took a backpacking trip up into Horn Fork Basin, inside the Collegiate Peaks Wilderness, west of Buena Vista.  Our intent was to tackle both Mt. Harvard (just off center in above pic) and Mt. Columbia, though we would end up only summiting Harvard.  Nevertheless, we had a great time exploring the basin, and this was probably my favorite backpacking trip since camping in Weminuche Wilderness Area back in 2003.  It's so beautiful up there.  Anyway, I was going back and processing a few pics from that trip last night, so thought I'd go ahead and share some of those with you.

Bear Lake

Ryan Fonkert Photography - Bear Lake, Horn Fork Basin

The Mighty Wall (as I liked to call it)

Ryan Fonkert Photography - Horn Fork Basin, Collegiate Peaks Wilderness

Looking South to Mt. Yale (not a great pic, but gives you an idea of the view looking down through the basin)

Ryan Fonkert Photography - Horn Fork Basin, Collegiate Peaks Wilderness, Mt. Yale

The Path (a cairn marking the path to the summit of Mt. Harvard – an AWESOME hike)

Ryan Fonkert Photography - Horn Fork Basin, Collegiate Peaks Wilderness, cairn, Mt. Harvard

Ridgeline

Ryan Fonkert Photography - Horn Fork Basin, Collegiate Peaks Wilderness, Mt. Harvard

Looking West/Northwest from Mt. Harvard

Ryan Fonkert Photography - Horn Fork Basin, Collegiate Peaks Wilderness, Mt. Harvard, Sawatch Mountain Range

Scale

Ryan Fonkert Photography - Horn Fork Basin, Collegiate Peaks Wilderness, Mt. Harvard

Exploring the Ridgelines

Ryan Fonkert Photography - Horn Fork Basin, Collegiate Peaks Wilderness, Mt. Harvard

Horn Fork Sunset

Ryan Fonkert Photography - Horn Fork Basin, Collegiate Peaks Wilderness, sunset

As you can see, the views up there are phenomenal!  As I said previously, this goes down as one of my favorite backpacking trips, and I can't wait to go back.  For one, I'd like to go back and knock off Columbia, but more importantly, I'd just like to camp and hike around Horn Fork Basin again.  Even if you don't give a rat's patootey about bagging summits, you should go just to hang around and explore the basin.  It's crazy beautiful up there.

High Country Beer Cooler

Ryan Fonkert Photography - Horn Fork Basin, Collegiate Peaks Wilderness, snow, beer, cooler

The above pic I include just to show you a proper high-country beer cooler. :)  We packed a few beers with us to unwind after the hard days of hiking, and were lucky to find this lone remaining snow bank just outside our campsite.  Divine providence! :)

Lastly, I'll leave you with this pic (below), which shows how much work it was to get up there.  The trail itself is a pretty basic walk up to the basin; some serious elevation gain, but never more than Class 1/2 hiking.  HOWEVER, in 2011 there were massive windstorms throughout the Collegiate Peaks Wilderness that resulted in hundreds of trees going down, including over many trails.  This was one of them.  Up until the wilderness area border, they had cleaned up most of the trail, cutting the trees away.  However, they can't use chainsaws within wilderness areas, per federal law, so once past that boundary, you're crossing/circumnavigating all those fallen trees yourself.  Many times when events like this happen, they'll simply re-route, as creating new trails is easier than trying to clean up all the deadfall.

Ryan Fonkert Photography - Horn Fork Basin, Collegiate Peaks Wilderness, deadfall

That's my friend, Mark, navigating the mess.  On the way back out on our last day, I'd end up snagging my leg on one of the many fallen trees while trying to step over it, ripping it open something ugly.  I'm still carrying the scar from that one…

References (1)

References allow you to track sources for this article, as well as articles that were written in response to this article.
  • Response
    Football is genuinely a single of the greatest sports in America. It has a significant following.

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Post:
 
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>