Continental Divide Trail – Day 47 (16 miles)
Today was an easy day. I got up a little late and ducked into the Cooper Mountain Ski Resort for an omelette. It was surprisingly both delicious and good value, not what I expected from a fancy resort.
I then hit the trail for a lazy 2,600ft climb up and over a mountain to reach the town of Breckenridge. It was a quality climb that got my heart racing as I pushed hard to reach the top. I have definitely got used to the extra altitude of Colorado, but it is still bloody harder than the same climb at sea level.
I reached the top to high winds and sweeping views of each side. It was perfect! Apart from the wind that was strong enough to blow my visor off. I had to chase it down the slope!
I was walking along the ridgeline for 5 minutes before I decided to take a “dad” shortcut. This scenic route would take longer than walking along the trail. I left the trail and ridge and started heading straight down towards Breckenridge.
The first bit was easy and above treeline, but once I reached the trees I resorted back to following animal tracks and gullies down. Sometimes getting stuck by bramble or a lot of down trees. I love off-trail routes, you are always totally absorbed in the moment and the surrounding area. I am also so much more aware of my surroundings as I am not daydreaming the afternoon away like I would on the trail.
I saw a lot of bear scat through this section!
After a couple of hours I hit a ski resort service road and followed that into the resort and town. I was hungry and went to a Thai restaurant on the way to the hostel.
When I arrived at the hostel I was greeted by the English couple I met a few days ago. They are among the most interesting people that I have met on this trail and we spent the afternoon and evening talking. Most people have no idea about English climbing and hiking and I was interested in their experiences were on different climbing routes and hikes.
Eventually I left them at the hostel’s bar and headed off to bed. As soon as I entered, I was greeted with snoring, but the guy rolled over and did not make a noise for the rest of the night.