Mount Ida

I was very close to Mount Ida a couple years ago but didn't summit it because my destination was Arrowhead Lake.  Mount Ida overlooks the Gorge Lakes area, which includes Arrowhead Lake.  I always planned to return to summit Mount Ida and today was the day.

Be sure to click on these thumbnail photos for larger versions.

1. This is the view from Medicine Bow Curve as I was driving to the trailhead.  The Poudre River valley was full of clouds.

2. The trailhead for Mount Ida is at Milner Pass.  This is the trail not far from the trailhead.

3. Mount Ida was still clear but clouds were building over the Never Summers.

4. A marmot stands sentry in this view which includes Mount Ida in the far distance.

5. Looking back at the trail and toward the Never Summers, you can see my shadow.  The trail is just below the top of the Continental Divide.

6. Again looking back at the trail I've been following, just a few feet below the Continental Divide.  The clouds are building and getting closer.  It's still very early in the morning and there are no storms forecast so I feel there is no lightning risk and continue on.

7. It didn't take long though and I was completely enveloped in clouds.  Hmmm...  What to do.  I continue on for a short while.  Then the trail ends as I reach an area with lots of jagged rock that has to be crossed.  And the rock is getting slick.  Time to turn around.  Mount Ida will wait for me to come another day.  On the way down, I meet two other solo hikers willing to give it a try.

8. On the way back to Estes Park, I stop at Rock Cut, which has a good view of the Gorge Lakes area and Mount Ida.  Mount Ida is the right most peak in the picture.  It looks like it would have been okay to continue as Mount Ida was in and out of the clouds as they passed by the peak.  I wonder if the other two hikers made it.