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  • Writer's pictureJoanna Lee

The Summer of many 12ers

Updated: May 12, 2023

August 5, 2021

Twin Cones (12,060 feet)

5 miles; 1429 feet elevation gain

Total time: 2 hours 20 minutes

We were looking for an easier summit this week because I got three stitches in the top of my foot on Sunday after knocking a sharp knife off the countertop. Something closer to home, lower mileage and steepness, great views and with a defined trail - Twin Cones checked all these boxes. It is a quick hour drive from home and class I the entire way to top. We should've had amazing views but the weather had other plans. The forecast called for sunny with some clouds and storms after noon, this is not what happened.

We left home at 5am, I had Kane and Brittany had Gryff. We were hiking by 6am with only one other car at the trailhead. This is generally a busy trailhead, especially on weekends, but we figured starting early on a weekday would earn us a little solitude. We ended up not seeing a single person the entire hike which was a very pleasant surprise. As we drove up Berthoud Pass the cloud was very low but we hoped it would clear up. The first part of the trail is pretty steep but a defined. well-trafficked path the whole way. Once you get close to the tree line, past Broome Hut, the trail opens up in a beautiful basin with a creek running down the middle. There was an abundance of wildflowers and also an abundance of clouds coming from both directions. We knew storms weren't forecast until later and we were close enough to the treelike in case of emergency so we kept going. Had I been on a 14er in these clouds, I probably would've bailed. While the low, fast moving, thin clouds aren't concerning themselves, it is the fact that you can't see what is coming that is concerning! There was still some snow in the basin which is so crazy! You climb up and out of the basin towards the peak, by this point we could only see 30 feet in front of us, the cloud was so low! It was very damp and very cold, my hair was wet from the clouds and then froze! We stopped a couple of times to add layers, by the summit we were in winter gear!!

We obviously had zero views on the summit today other than clouds! A bummer because this area is so beautiful but it is a quick and easy hike that I would definitely repeat for the views. We stopped a few times on the way down to take pictures. As we got back to the tree line we were no longer in the clouds and the views were really cool with the clouds moving so quickly. We were back at the car in 2 hours and 20 minutes with barely any pain in my foot.

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