Sunday, November 16, 2008

Saturday, 11/15/08 Meridian Hill and 11,053

Pt. 11,053 and Meridian Hill (11,490)
From Meridian TH
~11.5 miles
~3,250 vertical
Jeff and Allison Valliere, Ken Nolan, Jean Aschenbrenner, Dwight Sunwall, John Prater and Sierra

Got an invite from Ken early Friday morning to go hike Meridain Hill and we were packed within 30 minutes. We were looking for something to do somewhat local and not too much above tree line this weekend, so this fit the bill perfectly. Ken and I have also been unable to coordinate for quite some time, so it was great to finally have the timing and location work out.

We met at the gas station near Crow Hill at 5:45am and then drove to the Meridian TH near Camp Rosalie where we eventually got going on the trail around 6:30am. There was hardly any snow in the area and it was great to still be able to leave the slowshoes behind.Since I had used this trail to climb Rosedale on New Years Day this year, I was somewhat familiar with the area, but it all looked drastically different with only a dusting of snow and we remarked what a great fall hike it would be with all the aspens.

The trail was smooth and easy to follow for quite some time and once near the Rosedale/11,053 saddle, we left the trail and bee lined up the gentle hillside to the even more gentle ridge to the summit of 11,053. After a short break, we then cut through the woods down to Mud Lakes, contoured around them heading E/SE until we were directly below the summit where we then headed straight up the hillside through the trees NE to the summit. From the Western true summit, we pondered going to the Eastern summit which is a little over 1/3 mile away.
Ken, John, Dwight, Sierra and I cruised most of the way over there to take some sight level readings to confirm that the West summit was higher and sure enough it was.

Back at the true summit, we were quite surprised to bump into a guy with a dog. Being on such an obscure peak, we initially thought that there may be a chance that we may “know” one another, at least through the internet community, but when we presented that possibility to him, he immediately said there was no way. OK. He only stated his first name (Steve?) and that he was “local”, “from Littleton”.

We made our way back down to Mud Lakes and then back into the trees contouring around the North side of 11,053 to the 11,053/Rosedale saddle. We took our time walking out, taking several long breaks as the day warmed dramatically, a stark contrast to the chilly, early morning start.


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