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…
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.
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.
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