Sleeping in Leadville Hostel @ 10500ft
22.5 miles hiked
Woah! Where did the cold come from??? I wake and it’s freezing so I hike out wearing my puffy and hike around a ridiculous loop to get me to the Copper Mountain Resort. Probably 2 miles on the road and 4 on the trail.
I duck in to use the facilities, and to find some pokemon. What on earth happened the past few days? Get on trail and the world was fine, get back into town and we have beem invaded by pokemon and people staring obsessively at their phones!
It’s a steep climb out of copper mountain then it becomes more gradual but climbs for 10 miles and over 3 passes. It’s not fast hiking, but it is beautiful. We bump into Bob and Dave, two volunteers who maintain a 5.5 mile section of the CT. They come up periodically to widen, flatten, clear and clean up their section, and they’ve just finished and are hiking out. We thank them and I take their photo. When we get to their section it’s easy to see how hard they have worked. Amazing volunteers on the CT! This trail is so well looked after.
We climb up above tree line and into magically beautiful world. Streams, wildflowers, marmots, patches of snow dotting the mountain. We climb up past a mountain hut which would be an epic place to stay – apparently they book up 6 months- 1 year in advance.
The wind picks up, the jackets go back on as we head over Searle Pass at 12044ft then 3 miles around the mountain to Elk Ridge at 12280ft, finally heading down to a Pass called Kokomo. That’s where you want to go to get away from it all…
It’s all downhill for the rest of the day. Down past meadows and more steams. We hike past camp hale which was the training ground for the 10th Mountain Division – a mountain and Arctic warfare division established during WWII. The bunkers there are a little creepy with lots of graffiti, and there are signs warning us not to touch landmines or unexploded bombs if we see them. Eeeps.
Through the trees we hike, climbing now up next to the highway for several miles. We meet a few other hikers along the way, then finally descend to the hwy where we hitch into Leadville for the night.
It’s pretty late by the time we get to the hostel, but we manage to scoff down a pizza (cheeseless of course!) each from mountain high pizza. So excited to find a pizza place that has more veges than just tomato and olives!
The Leadville Hostel is where we are laying our heads. I scrub off a surprising amount of dirt in the shower – it’s been a dusty trail the past few miles. Off to sleep late in a tiny, but perfectly blacked out room with my earplugs in – nothing will wake me tonight!