Summer Catch Up- From Maple to Rifle, CO

Between Maple Canyon, UT and Rifle, CO we took a few days off from climbing. We stopped and checked out Moab, with no plan to climb there since temperature easily rose to about 40°C in the desert at that time of the year.

Heading to Moab, Utah.

We hiked the Mill Creek Trail, sampled the local beer at the microbrewery, and visited Arches National Park the following morning at sunrise. I will be back in Moab to climb at some point, but right in the middle of the summer, non merci! Unless you enjoy this kind of climate, you don’t want to hang around there too long!

Sunrise over Arches NP.

After 1 ½ day in Moab we escaped the summer heat and drove to Colorado to hike up Capitol Peak (4,300m). I had been there a few years ago to attempt the summit, but had to turn around near the summit due to bad weather.

The hike on the first day.

Capitol Peak (4,300m) in the background.

The base of Capitol Peak: a beautiful and peaceful place.

This peak had always stayed on my mind, and I had promise myself I would return there one day to reach the summit. It took 7 years for me to go back there... I guess I was dedicated to give it another go! The roundtrip from the Capitol Peak trailhead is about 17 miles: it’s a demanding hike, and known by many as one of the most difficult 14er in Colorado. Most people take two days for the round trip, and we were no exception. We carried our camping gear/food/water to a lake at the base of the mountain, where we spent the night.

Ben contemplating the view at basecamp.

Checking out the surrounding.

The following morning I got up at 4am, reached the summit alone since Ben didn’t feel well, and came back to the trailhead in one push.

The view from one hillside on the way up, shortly after sunrise.

Just about to traverse the knife edge before reaching the summit... Time to wake up ;)

Alone with deep blue skies and stunning scenery at the summit.

The hike down. Crampons could have been useful to walk across some icy/snowy sections...

After Capitol Peak we headed to Rifle, but I had to take another restday from the hike before I could start climbing... this hike was intense!

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