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Bear Peak

This is my favorite hike in the Boulder foothills. I have been on top of Bear Peak at night, I have been there in the middle of a snowstorm, I have shared the summit with a crowd of people on a hot summer day, and no one at all on many occasions. I love to come back.

It was a frigid March morning, and the alarm rang early. We received some 8 inches of snow in town the day before, and I did not want to miss that. I checked the thermometer, -10F. I left when there was not a sign of a coming dawn yet. As I worked my way out of Boulder along Kohler Mesa trail, the dawn came. A typical Boulder clear sky dawn when everything takes on a pink color for a while before turning yellow. Later on I met first people on Mesa Trail and continued up Fern Canyon trail to Bear Peak. There was considerably more snow here, well over a foot.

When I reached a saddle where the trail picks up the northeast ridge, I took a break to eat and soon became quite cold. Clouds rolled in and it took me a while to convince myself that I wanted to continue going up. Shortly after I reached the summit, now in a dense fog, a couple of climbers from Boulder caught up. They thanked me for breaking the trail all the way. Even though the trail is usually slippery on the way down, this time there was no worry as the snow would cushion any fall.

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Snowy pagodas Winter landscape by night Pink Bear Peak Bear Peak in yellow Moonset Straws poking through the snow
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Hello, cloud Snowy yucca Mesa Trail scene Teeth Snowy trail Along the Fern Canyon trail
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Green Mountain Pine tree Snowy ridge Icicles Northeast ridge scene Brrrr
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Bear Peak summit Frosty scene Flatiron


I returned to Bear Peak in November, yet again after a recent snowstorm, but this time not on a 'photographic mission'. A great hike with a friend was all that I hoped for and I got just that.

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Changing seasons Snowy leaves Bear Peak from NCAR Teeth Flyby Sweltering heat
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Philippe Winter wonderland Icicles


Last updated: February 8, 2002
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