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  1. #1
    Senior Member drewboy's Avatar
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    South San Juan Wilderness, 8/22/10-8/26/10

    We just returned from an incredible 5 day backpacking trip to the South San Juan Wilderness in SW Colorado. We arranged a shuttle and thru-hiked a section of it. The route we took is shown in the TOPO map below. We had a group of 10 backpackers, 6 of which were hangers.



    We started out near Ellwood Pass, at around 11,600 ft elevation. The first day we had a relatively short hike of 4.5 miles over the Continental Divide and down to Crater Lake.



    We camped at Crater Lake for two nights at just above 11K ft to let ourselves acclimate to high elevation and do some peak bagging and fishing. The weather was constantly changing and it rained frequently. The clouds drifting across the lake gave us some really nice scenery.



    There was a good amount of hammock gear along on this trip. Five of us were using Warbonnet Blackbirds (DL 1.1, SL 1.7 and SL 1.0). One of us had a Clark NA, and one had the Parrot Bay hammock with integrated netting. Two people had Maccat deluxe silnylon tarps, Te-wa had a custom Maccat standard coyote brown tarp and Angelo had an early prototype of the HMG cuben tarp. I had my MLD cuben tarp along. Many of us had Te-wa 2/3 length UQ's along, one of us used a thermarest pad. There were a couple of Te-wa top quilts, a Warbonnet Mamba and I was using a Golite Ultra 20. Pretty much everyone had retrofitted to a whoopie sling style suspension.



    Day 2 we did an out and back day hike to summit Montezuma peak at 13,150 ft elevation. We hiked back up to the Continental Divide and headed south to reach the approach point.



    We were blown away by the expansive views up there. If you hiked over to a nearby peak it was possible to see all the way down to Crater Lake where we were camped at.



    On day 3 we hiked south along the Continental Divide for around 12 miles and dropped down into a beautiful glacier carved valley called Adams Fork to camp for the night.



    The trout fishing was just as fantastic as a previous time that we camped at this same spot. Beautiful native cutthroat trout seemingly coming out of nowhere from that shallow stream.



    The 4th day we backpacked out of Adams Fork and up to the Continental Divide again, and went over to climb Summit peak, at 13,300 ft the highest point in Archuleta County.



    We dropped our packs on the trail when we reached the approach point and climbed to the summit to experience more incredible views.



    We then crossed over the Continental Divide and hiked down to Quartz Lake to camp for our 4th and final night.



    On the 5th day we hiked out on the Little Blanco trail to our pickup point, and went into Pagosa Springs to celebrate and enjoy eating some food that was not boiled in a bag.



    All in all, it was an amazing and memorable trip that I won't soon forget. There were several ground dwellers in our group that got a good look at hammock life and I suspect we'll have a couple of converts in the near future. I'll have a hard time topping this trip on my next big outing.

    Here are a couple of Youtube videos that I uploaded that have some narrative of this trip.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9xCd-VtTlbI

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Coy2ChgMsyo

  2. #2
    Senior Member angrysparrow's Avatar
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    What a marvelous trip report! Thank you for sharing.
    “I think that when the lies are all told and forgot the truth will be there yet. It dont move about from place to place and it dont change from time to time. You cant corrupt it any more than you can salt salt.” - Cormac McCarthy

  3. #3
    Senior Member ikemouser's Avatar
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    Thank you for sharing, I dream of trips like this.

  4. #4
    PuckerFactor's Avatar
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    Wow, just wow. Breathtaking views! Makes my heart sad to be missing the Idaho Hang. Thank you so much.

    Acer
    It's better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it.

    Formerly known as Acercanto, my trail name is MacGuyver to some, and Pucker Factor to others.

    It's not procrastinating, its proactively delaying the implementation of the energy-intensive phase of the project until the enthusiasm factor is at its maximum effectiveness. - Randy Glasbergen

  5. #5
    New Member Summit's Avatar
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    Amazing!!!

  6. #6
    mbiraman's Avatar
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    great trip report and video's. Beautiful country.
    " The mind creates the abyss, the heart crosses it."

    “The measure of your life will not be in what you accumulate, but in what you give away.” ~Wayne Dyer

    www.birchsidecustomwoodwork.com

  7. #7
    Running Feather's Avatar
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    Great Report

    One of the best video reports I've witnessed. It's hard to step out of the picture and take the picture when it's happening.

    I hiked the Smokies this weekend and for all intents and purposes, you were on a different planet (trip report to follow after pain subsides!)

    Thanks so much for taking us along. Looks like good trails, amazing views, good people, good food, and good times

    Take a bow
    "If you find yourself in a hole, the first thing you should do is STOP DIGGING "

  8. #8
    BillyBob58's Avatar
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    Fantastic! It has been many years since I last hiked in the San Juans, but they are well remembered. Did a trip once from Durango Ski Resort area, to Needle Creek and up to Chicago Basin, over the divide and out at Vallecito. Where we paid a waitress to drive us back to Durango. Your pics bring back pleasant memories!
    For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us....that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.
    Romans 8:18,21-22

  9. #9
    Poppabear's Avatar
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    Simply amazing! Thanks for sharing with us.
    Terry

  10. #10
    waddy's Avatar
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    Fantastic pictures, videos, and overall trip report. Colorado mountains are amazing! At the end of the second video, where you were filming the whole group at the trail head, it occurred to me that if you start a hike at the trail head, shouldn't the place where you end the trip be more properly called the trail tail???

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