Pfiffner Traverse Day 5: Paiute Pass, Rejected at NE Gully, Arapaho Pass and Caribou Pass (Indian Peaks Wilderness, Colorado)
Trip dates: August 14-20, 2018
This day: August 18, 2018
Today I would meet my resupply at 6pm so I was on a clock. I happened to wake up before dawn naturally which was quite convenient. I was surprised it was already very cloudy. I should have been able to read the tea leaves better...
A while back I said I never take selfies. Maybe I'm allowed one per decade.
The descent from Paiute Pass is actually pretty tricky. It would have been fairly easy to get into 5th class terrain because it's so steep and you can't see well what you're getting into. The guide was helpful here. I suspect the route is more obvious when ascending but can't say for sure.
Once in the valley, I followed some game trails till the official trail. The weather did not seem to be improving and I was getting worried about my 6pm deadline.
Well...time to bail. I now had to cover about 19 miles/5000 feet of vertical gain in 6 hours. Luckily it was nearly 100% trail so I could keep the pace pretty high. My estimated ETA was pretty good: I arrived about 6:45pm and this included a wrong turn in the one off-trail portion. I knew I was late and moving too fast.
The bypass itself is pretty boring actually. In Alabama (my home state from birth through high school) this would have been a spectacular state park but Colorado will spoil you. After making the turn down towards Coyote Park I had the trail to myself which was refreshing given the hordes of people I encountered heading out of the Crater Lake area.