My Sweet Rosa
My Sweet Rosa
There’s nothing like a good bought of physical exertion to clear the head. That’s what I set out to do today. We all have those weeks, right?
I had been eyeing Mount Rosa via Saint Mary’s Falls for some time. It’s a long difficult climb; some 14 miles and over 4000 feet in elevation change. And this time of the year there would still be considerable snow yet to consider.
Saturday came. I was up at 5am making coffee and oatmeal; two essential elements before a climb. I was at the trail head a little after 7am. I met Paul at the trail head. He was about my age and like me has a wife who is not interested in hiking, at least not these kinds of trails. He was taking a different trail that day, Seven Bridges Trail, 3.2 miles out and back. North Cheyenne Cañon Park in Colorado Springs offers access to several trails. The trail to Mount Rosa is by far the most challenging among them.
After Paul and I parted ways I continued up the road until the collapsed tunnel where the trail turns left and follows Buffalo Canyon. I decided to stop at St. Mary’s Falls and get a few pictures. The spring runoff makes for the best time of year to visit these falls. Any other time of year it becomes a trickle. You’ll notice Stove Mountain (Cookstove Mountain) as the most prominent landmark in that area, southeast of the falls.
Shortly after the falls the trail begins to increase in snow volume as the elevation increase. There are essentially three steep parts of the trail: one near St Mary’s Falls, one as you approach the saddle, and the last on the final assent to Mount Rosa. The rest of the trail is only a minor incline. It’s all very nice trails with only a very short scramble at the summit of Rosa.
As I anticipated the trail was tough. It was mental battle as well, as it usually is. I only made it to the saddle today and it wouldn’t have made it that far if another couple of hikers didn’t pass me to help break the trail. I was growing quite weary of being the only one to brave the trail without snowshoes. Thanks, guys. We didn’t exchange much conversation so I didn’t get their names.
It took a few shots of Pikes Peak and Almagre Mountain while up on the saddle, then turned around. I was spent. The total for the day was 12 miles and 3600 feet in elevation gain. Mission accomplished.
When I take this on later this year I’ll update this post.
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