Mt. Audubon in a New Light

I haven’t climbed Mt. Audubon since, gosh, was it really 2007?  This is a shame.  It’s a big, easy mountain, with easy access, spectacular surroundings, and great views and trails most of the way up; it’s a popular mountain for a good reason.  It was even arguably where I really caught the trail running bug in the first place.

Time to revisit an old classic.  Nine of us left the trailhead a few minutes after 8 and headed up the well-worn trail at a decent, though not record setting pace.  The group stuck together until the last quarter mile of for-all-intents-and-purposes off-trail talus hopping to the summit.  We topped out at about 9:30 and had the summit entirely to ourselves.  The air was largely still and the temperatures a nice change from the 90+ highs we’ve been having, seemingly, all summer.  The moonlight made things bright as day.

What’s that?  Oh, did I not mention the ‘p.m.’ part?  Ooops, sorry…

Runners, lightning, and city lights on the way down (by Eric Lee). My version of this photo isn’t nearly as cool.

This was one of our weekly night runs, though a little more committing than our usual 90-minute local nocturnal trots.  So anyway, there we were at 13,221′ at 9:30 PM.  Moonlight, 2700′ of gain in about 4 miles.  It was amazingly peaceful, really.  Lightning played between the clouds out over the plains (and a bit to the west) and the surrounding peaks were faintly visible in a desaturated, silvery way.  Eric and I attempted, largely without success, to capture the mood with our point-and-shoots.

Runners on the summit.

The Mt. Audubon night run has become something of a yearly tradition, though I’m personally 0:2, foiled by one factor or another.  Both Plans-B were fun anyway, but it’s nice to finally “run” up and down Mt. Audubon (13,221′) in the Indian Peaks after hours.

Full Moon over Boulder

If you haven’t climbed a mountain in the dark, by all means do so.  It’s a very different feel.  You hear things and smell things you probably wouldn’t during the daytime.  Most importantly, it will make you see the mountains in a whole new light, so to

speak.

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