The beautiful ridge above American Basin.
We had an elevation gain of about 2,500 feet, so we were going up most of the way.
Finally the peak comes into view.
I had originally set a goal for Maralee and I to at least make it to Sloan Lake. It seemed like since we made it that far, we should go ahead and summit.
There were marmots and pikas all over the place chirping at us all day long. One pika almost ran right over Garrett's backpack during a rest break.
The trail isn't really as narrow or steep as it looks here. This hike literally has almost no exposure. Even if you slipped and fell here, you wouldn't tumble down the mountain or anything.
Of course, we took a lot of breaks. Jay even carried Maralee a few times.
Looking back at Sloan Lake.
Before the final stretch, I was ready to give up and wait with Maralee and let Jay, Garrett and Savanna go to the summit. Jay was sure Maralee and I could make it, so we just took it slow. I was mostly nervous about having to walk back down this part of the trail.
We did it!! It was chilly and windy, and started to snow on us!
This is the tube with the register inside. I was so excited to fill it in!
Now for the part that I regret. I failed to get decent summit photos of Jay and I. Our friend Steve Garufi of ColoradoGuy.com always has a great summit photo of all of his hikes. Since we had the peak to ourselves, there wasn't anyone to take a family photo. I snapped only one photo of Jay thinking I would get a better one later. Then he took the camera for a bit.
Jay took a photo of me while I checked to see if I had cell service and I took some photos with my phone. I was honestly really scared about hiking back down those steep places. I can't believe I never looked up and at least smiled! Oh well, at least we have proof that we were there. :)
Sloan Lake definitely looks like a puddle from the summit.
Uncompahgre Peak is just right of center here. Wetterhorn is left of Uncompahgre and looks very different from this view compared to the sharp point that we usually see. I know Redcloud and Sunshine are out there somewhere, but I'm not familiar enough with them to recognize them.
Jay and Garrett climbed Uncompahgre Peak last year. I guess I'm just fascinated with it because it has such an usual shape, and it's also the 6th highest mountain in Colorado.
Going back down wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. I used hiking poles and didn't slip much. Jay held Maralee's hand most of the time. Garrett and Savanna did this entire hike like it was a piece of cake.