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5 Day Best of the Weminuche

8 Day Alpine Leadership Course
August 7, 2011
Moab, UT Rock Climbing Courses
August 16, 2011

The name of the trip claims a lot, but it’s truly nothing less then spectacular!

Columbine Flowers

We started off in Durango on the 150-year-old narrow gauge railroad.  The train stops at Elk Park in the heart of the mountains where we began the 5-day hike.  The first night was spent near “the beaver ponds” where we were greeted by a mother moose and her calf.

The Beaver Pond with Vestal and Arrow in the background.

The next day we hiked up and over the Continental Divide to Kite Lake, hard to beat the views especially with the wild flowers going off as they were.

Morning dew on a spider web.


Day three took us up and over Hunchback Pass and down the Vallecito drainage, to the base of Johnson Creek.


Day four put us in Chicago Basin after hiking up and over Columbine Pass.  We were not in the Basin for more then 20 minutes before the mountain goats were coming to check us out.

Mountain Goats in Chicago Basin

On the last day we decided to pass on climbing a peak and just head down toward Needleton where the train would pick us up and deliver us back to Durango.