Lately JP and I had been spending our Sunday's snowboarding in Breckenridge, but with an incredibly beautiful day and 65 degree weather in January we could not pass up a chance to go for a climb. Blodgett has been on my list of peaks to climb in the Colorado Springs area and I figured that a 4 mile round trip hike would be doable for my son. What was supposed to be a half day deal turned into a full day. We started out at the Open Space trailhead and quickly made our way up to the water tank on the dirt road. Fortunately I had a compass and topo map. Shortly after the tank we came to a fork in the trail. Oddly there was a Christmas ornament hanging in a tree at the fork. I went with my gut and the compass and went to the right. This brought us up onto the east face of Blodgett first to the northwest, then to the southwest. The topo route on the summitpost page proved to be excellent. We spoke to a couple of people who were on their way down and the route finding tips they gave us proved to be invaluable. We made our way the edge of the gulch that leads all the way to the saddle below the summit. A key point of the route was to stay out of the lowest part of the gulch and keep to the north side of it. From this point the trail was pretty easy to follow, but extremely steep and nothing but scree.JP really started to labor and I started to get concerned that I had bitten off too much for him to chew. I ended up carrying his pack and "short-polling" him with one of my trecking polls. It gave me the opportunity to preach to him about the benefits of rest-stepping and pressure breathing that I had learned on Mt. Rainier. We got into a rythm and he started to do 100% better. There were a few sketchy points of the trail, but for the most part it went right up to the saddle. A boulder/scree field came into view to our right. It was tempting to go into it, but we stuck with the trail. The final 100 feet was all scrambling up boulders. The views at the top made it all worth it. Cheyenne Mt., Mt. Rosa, Mt. Baldy, Almagre Mt. and Pikes Peak were all to the south. We could see most the Indian Peaks Wilderness, the Lincoln group and Quandary Peak to the west. It was so clear we could even make out Longs Peak far to the north. The Air Force Academy and all of Colorado Springs were to our east. We spent about an hour on the summit, took numerous pictures and called mom on the cell. Going down was mostly sliding through scree. For the most part we stuck to the trail until the last half mile. Somehow we found ourselves well to the north of where we were supposed to be. It sounds like this is a common happening on Blodgett. Out of nowhere an Air Force Academy cadet appeared and offered to lead us down. We came out of the woods about a mile north from where we were supposed to be. The cadet gave us a ride back to the trailhead. We were bushed, but glad we did the climb. It would be great to do this climb with a GPS and numerous waypoints mapped out. There is another route on the north side that has the wreckage of a small plane crash from the sixties. It will have to wait for another day. A concern I have for this mountain is that the final half mile of the trail is essentially straight up the north side of the gulch. There are very few switchbacks. With time, erosion will take a big toll on this part of the climb and make it significantly more difficult.
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