We got a late start on Saturday morning. It was a beautiful day, but a lot of traffic up to the actual trailhead. We parked at the latrine just past the Atlas Mine fork. It was neat to see the wedding going on up there, though!
By the time we schlepped up to the trailhead (about 2 miles past the latrine), we were pretty tired of the 4-wheelers and pickup trucks. In hindsight, we were simply being self-righteous hikers, as the starting point of the hike is arbitrary up to the point where the road ends.
We arrived at the scree field about 30 minutes past the trailhead, and from there it's hand-over-hand scrambling. There is a dicey move through a V-notch required to hit the last 100 or so feet of elevation. The other two in my party were physically and mentally drained from the scree climb (this was their first 14'er). They decided to end the hike there. I scrambled to the top, rasied my arms in a Rocky-like victory pose, when all the hair on me started to stand!! I made it back down to that notch, where there's a little cover, in about 60 seconds! I waited out some of the clouds there, turned around, went back up and signed the register. I spent about 5 minutes up there chatting with a couple, and when I heard thunder I decided it was time to descend for good.
Tips: if you are hiking early (before July) bring crampons for the snow-staircase up the last bit of the scree field. A slip there could warrant some nasty bruises.
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