BeginningsI've wanted to get to Rocky Mountain National Park ever since I was a boy, but I've kept getting distracted by places like the Cascades and the Olympics. So this trip was a long time in the making! I flew into Denver Friday night, drove to RMNP and camped at Moraine Park Campground to stay the night. I arrived at 10 pm, so I didn't get to see any mountains until I awoke the next morning with a view of Longs Peak.
ApproachI started at the Wild Basin Trailhead at 8 am (because of my late arrival the night before, I wasn't able to pick up my permit until 7 am at the backcountry office). I was feeling in fine shape, and quickly made Finch Lake, where I caught first sight of my objective!
I continue on from here to the Pear Creek campsite where I setup camp, and switched over to my daypack.
Shortly thereafter I reached Pear Lake, with a great view of Mount Copeland with a waterfall coming off it's side.
This is also where the trail ended I had to start the bushwack. After about 2 miles of buchwacking, I came to the base of Elk Tooth.
ClimbOnce I reached upper Hutchinson Lake, I headed straight up the talus/scree field, heading just up from the broad shoulder of Elk Tooth, to continue along the Summit Ridge.
Shortly after starting the climb up, I turned around and got this great shot of Upper Hutchinson Lake.
Upon arriving at the top, I discovered that I was the first to sign the summit register since October of 2010.
Overall I couldn't have asked for better weather, or a better climb, though the descent through down the talus and scree was a bit of a pain.