May in Leadville

This weekend I went to Leadville to look for houses.  I flew to Denver on Friday night and stayed  close to the airport.  Early Saturday morning, I drove to Leadville and went straight to the Mt Elbert trailhead.  I wasn’t meeting the realtor until 3:30pm so I thought I’d see how high I could get before the snow was too unwieldy.  When my steps post holing got too much to bear, I was at the first meadow right before tree line.  I sat down on a log and ate lunch.

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The views  of the far range and Mt Massive to my north (picture below) were incredible.  The sun was shinning and the birds were very interested in my sandwich.  I managed to coax them in closer and closer until one would take the bread right out of my hands.  I was a little late clicking the button on the picture below, but you can see the bird flying away with a mouth full.

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I only went 5 miles, but it took me over 3 hours to get through the sloppy snow.  I made it back in time to take a shower before looking at 10 houses with the agent.  I decided on one and put an offer in.  We’ll see if they will take it.

On Sunday, I met a friend’s brother, Mark, who drove in from Denver.  He has the trail running bug and we decided to try our luck on the trail leading to Mt. Massive.  The one mile of switchbacks to get us back on the main part of the Colorado trail was relatively clear, but once we turned north, the snow was deep and we slowly made our way through it.  After a quarter mile or so, we decided to turn back and try going the other direction on the Colorado trail past the Mt Elbert trail turn off.

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After running back down the hill, getting slightly lost, we climbed the switchbacks out of the other side of the valley.  Once on top, the trail was clear all the way to the turn off.  However, not more than a half of mile after, the snow was deep again.  We adjusted and decided to climb to the same point on Elbert I did the day before.  It took us over an hour, but I was again on the same log that I ate lunch on the day before.  Same great views, but more wind and no birds.  We decided to take a timed shot, but the camera fell before the picture was taken.  The resulting picture turned out pretty cool.  The following picture is the one we were hoping for.

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We headed back down and ran across a furry friend on the trail

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Once down, we didn’t feel we had enough so we ran the forest road for a few more miles.  My sea level lungs had to walk the hills, but Mark ran the whole thing.  In total, we did a little over 13 miles and climbed about 3,000ft.  All the pictures from the weekend are below.

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