Ascent of Flattop Mountain on 2008-07-31

Climber: Talon Medema

Others in Party:Dante M.
Date:Thursday, July 31, 2008
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Flattop Mountain
    Elevation:12324 ft / 3756 m

Ascent Trip Report

Started the day off a little late, got into Estes Park around 8, didn't get to the trail head till 9. Lots of cars, in the parking lot, beautifully sunny, 70 degree weather. Started off the trail at a good pace, made it to the Emerald Lake Lookout, before Dante's Asthma started kicking in. The going after that was slow, about twenty paces or on length of a switchback and we would have to rest. She kept pressing on though, which made me proud. Passed a guy who was hiking down from skiing the small piece of snow or as they called it "glacier" in between Flattop mountain and Hallet peak. When we could see the "glaciers" we started to laugh, they might be glaciers in the lower 48, but for us they are just snow-fields. Breaking out of the tree-line the trail dissapears at times, but you can always easily navigate via the rock cairns placed along the route, proably the hardest part of the hike. Finally we made it to the top, good views of Grand Lake, Long's Peak, Meeker, and most of RMNP, wish we could have continued on to the rest of the peaks, but didn't have the time. the trek down was un-eventful, except for everyone stopping me to ask if I had just hiked the mountain in sandals. I relish that one every time I hear it. I would recommend this hike for anyone, the trail is easily marked, the grade easy, and the scenery above the tree line is nice. Can be a bit crowded, but hey, it is in the middle of RMNP.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:2849 ft / 868 m
    Round-Trip Distance:8.8 mi / 14.2 km
    Route:Standard Route
    Trailhead:Bear Lake Trailhead  9475 ft / 2887 m
    Grade/Class:Class 2
    Quality:2 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Snow on Ground
    Weather:Hot, Calm, Clear

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