[Cdt-l] want to bag some 14ers? Wasa's 2009 CT alternate

Wasa campomp at yahoo.com
Fri Apr 2 01:12:26 CDT 2010

I took this alternate route last year (going S/W, Denver to Durango) between elbert and monarch pass.  This is how I hiked it but many variations could be made. (I was there in July.)  I describe it here SOBO, where it departs from the CT/CDT, on Ley Colorado 22. 

Climb Elbert via the standard rte (N/E ridge), descend via S. Elbert and Black Cloud trail.  You come out on Hwy 82, paved, above Twin Lakes Res.  Travel East on 82, eventually leaving the highway and crossing on a bridge, and joining the CDT below the junction of Willis and Little Willis Gulches.  Continue over Hope Pass.  Leave the CDT by turning East instead of West on County Rd 390.  Walk 1.5 mi and turn South up Missouri Gulch.  Climb Missouri, Belford, Oxford, and travel South over Elkhead Pass into the incredibly beautiful Missouri Basin.  Once you reach Pine Creek (11,520), travel down it ~2.6 miles to a cabin site.  Cross the creek and climb to attain the thin NNW ridge of Harvard.  There was another cabin site and later on a cairn.  Climb Harvard and descend via the S ridge and into the Horn Fork Basin.  

Here I met a day hiker going into Buena Vista and I was HUNGRY and so I ate and hitched back via County Hwy 306; MISSING ~5 miles up and over Browns Pass (Oh, the horror!).  I hiked up to meet some friends working trail crew on Yale, climbed it and went back to 306 and hitched back to the CT, but a CDT thru hiker could do browns pass, and then go West on 306 and regain the Divide above Lost Lake, S of Cottonwood Pass, on the bondary between Ley maps 24 and 25.

Here's a video of the section, plus Shavano and Tabaguache, which are off the CT:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pQQFAwUh0J8



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