Hiking to my 2nd tallest mountain so far - Gothic Mountain (3,850 m)

Today, my labmate and I hiked to the top of the mountain that towers over our cabin (and Gothic) - Gothic Mountain. Its height is 3,850 m, which is just four metres short of Avery Peak that I climbed last week.

Quick picture of Gothic Mountain before we left.  To get to the top, we followed the trail descriptions in this website, which we found to be accurate and useful.

Unknown red mountain.

Gothic Mountain in the distance
Gothic Mountain, here we come!

Along the way, we saw some new and interesting flora.

Elephantella (Pedicularis groenlandica)
This may be the coolest flowering species I have ever seen - Elephantella (Pedicularis groenlandica).  The flowers totally look like elephants!

Bracted Lousewort (Pedicularis bracteosa)
Another lousewort species - Bracted Lousewort (P. bracteosa)

First fungus I have seen in Colorado.

Osmia sp. visiting Silvery Lupine (Lupinus argenteus).

Moss campion (Silene acaulis), which is also found in Ivvavik National Park.

Initially, I thought these are alpino S. acaulis, but I now believe they are either Alpine Phlox (Phlox condensata) or Many-flowered Phlox (P. multiflora).

Purple Fringe (Phacelia sericea)
Purple Fringe (Phacelia sericea)

Sky Pilot (Polemonium viscosum)
On our way up the mountain, we kept smelling this skunky odour and thought a skunk was climbing this mountain too.  But we now believe the smell comes from the Sky Pilots (Polemonium viscosum) we have seen along the way.  According to the field guide I am using, "these plants are infamous for their pungent skunky odor, [and] careful research demonstrates that the fragrance of populations varies with elevation and is sweeter the higher you go."

There were a few false peaks along the way to the actual peak, but the views were nice nonetheless.

Views from Gothic Mountain
West side of Gothic Mountain

Views from Gothic Mountain
South side

Views from Gothic Mountain
East side

Views from Gothic Mountain
Looking back down

This is a east-facing saddle/bowl on the mountain.


Views from Gothic Mountain

Views from Gothic Mountain

Among the mountains
After more than two hours of hiking, we were finally there!

GPS coordinates.

Panoramic view from Gothic Mountain (3,850 m)
Panoramic view from Gothic Mountain (3,850 m) of the west side (because the sun was still shining from the east).  To see the larger image, click here.

Mount Crested Butte in the distance
View of Crested Butte (the town), Mt. Crested Butte, and road that leads to Gothic (town).

Mt. Crested Butte

Mt. Crested Butte

Gothic town in the distance
View of Gothic and RMBL below.

Town of Gothic
I can see our cabin!

Hiking down
After a quick snack and many photos, we slowly headed back down before clouds start to gather above us.

After hiking up and down for 5 hours and 20 minutes, we drove to Emerald Lake to have a late lunch.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...