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Walking The Divide

Independence Pass to Point 12,812

July 4, 2013

4.5 miles

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Wanting to stretch our legs a bit and get some altitude acclimation, my Mom, Dad and I began walking south along the Continental Divide from Indepedence Pass. The pass was crowded, more-so than last year on July 4th, but as soon as we left the paved walkway and started following the trail along the Divide, we immediately abandoned the crowds. There were a handful of stragglers spread out to our south along the mellow ridge-line, but the masses were left behind us as we continued walking.

Snowball fight on July 4th!

The views were great, with La Plata Peak to the east, Frasco/French/Casco/Lackawanna to our northeast, Snowmass, Capitol, the Maroon Bells and Pyramid Peak in the Elks to the west. Snowmass has much more snow on it this year than we experienced last year at this same time.

As we gained altitude along the ridge-line, some meadows of wildflowers added to the beauty, and more vistas opened up to our south, including a great look at the north face of Grizzly Peak A, Colorado's highest 13er and one that I'm yet to climb.

Grizzly Peak

La Plata Peak

A thick strip of snow lay below us on the east-facing slopes from where it had drifted all winter long. At the summit of unranked Point 12,812, Mom and Dad had a snowball fight--a fun treat for July 4th.


We took a lot of pictures, of course, and felt a little better acclimated to the thin air by the time we returned to our rental jeep and headed back to Leadville. It turned into an impromptu, enjoyable hike totaling about five miles.