Fantastic climb. Summited around noon, back to the car before two. No trail, saw one or two other groups in the saddle on the way up.
Started close to 6am with my buddy Ben. The drive there ended up being as long as the hike. We hit the summit a little after sunrise. Beautiful conditions. Little bit of snow on top, but nothing too nasty.
Started with my friend Jesse around 6 am on the Southwest Slopes route. The thermometer read 22 degrees. It snowed two days previous and I was worried that the cover would make things difficult, but, luckily, there was little snow on the route. This was a great time to go because the brush we hiked through was relatively tame. Fun little butte with great 360 degree views.
The pup and I.
Great day out with Logan the mutt, warm and sunny. The raspberries were fully ripe and it's amazing I made it to the summit as I stopped every few minutes to enjoy fresh fruit! Great views of Pikes Peak and the Tarryalls from the summit. Certainly a bit of subtle complexity on this route - lots of minute gullies and ridges that are too small to appear on a topo - do pay attention! Great day out.
12 years later, still lots of devastation... but also nice to see how much vegetation has returned.
CMC hike. It was a little windy, but otherwise it was a fine day. We had no trouble reaching the summit, but we wandered about just a little on the way back. We saw no one else this day. Not too many visitors, according to the summit register.
Wife was a good sport here
With South Noddle Head.
A nice county HP.
Picked this one almost at random, for a nice outing with the dogs on a mild November day. Visited the unranked peak to the south, which is about 9,420 even though the map shows a BM at 9,287 farther south. Only 3 pages of entries in the register since January of 2008. A total bushwhack.
Impressive view of nature's power
It was still quite a bushwhack at a time when no one really climbed this peak much. The county summits weren't considered a goal as much as they are today. And yes it was prior to the Hayman fire. We had a nice visit in a log cabin close to the base of the mountain with one of the local residents, a member of our party knew. He gave us a nice history of the area.
While burned over, this area still has lots of scenic beauty to offer. From the summit there are spectacular views of Pikes Peak, far to the south the Sangre de Cristos can be seen, and the Tarryall Mountains just to the west. Beautiful sunny day.
No underbrush anywhere, and sloppy footing to the top, but still a nice hike, given the conditions. View from the top was sobering.
My wife and I were very impressed by the Hayman devastation. The climb was a good early season conditioner, and the summit views great.
I've been up TB four times and every time the paper in the register has been wet - the tube leaks. So I replaced both the PVC tube and the old, damp, mildewed summit register and replaced them with a small notebook in a glass jar. Hopefully it doesn't leak. :)
Although the trees are all still dead, groundcover is returning fast in the burn area. In April 2004 the crossing of Shrewsbury Gulch was on dirt and sub-ankle-high grasses. This time we were bushwhacking through grasses and plants that were 4-6 feet high, and very dense! Stuff is also beginning to grow higher up on the peak as well, although obviously not to that extent...
The burn damage is extensive. However, a lone aspen survived the fire at the peak. As you look at over the valley, It's amazing how the fire does not burn indiscriminately, it leaves little islands of life throughout.
Overall, a very good 1/2 day hike. Didn't see a soul until I was almost back at the trailhead on CR Nine-J.
7/25/09: Return trip 5 years later to see how the revegetation is progressing, which is, slower than I expected. Got well scratched up by the bramble bushes. This is still one very desolate area. Scrambled more or less directly to the summit instead of going by the saddle.
5/24/04: I went solo and didn't see a soul all day. I was overwhelmed with the devastation of the Hayman fire, since I hadn't visited the burned area up close until this day. Thunder Butte marks my first county highpoint climb done expressly for that purpose. Some day I would like to visit all the Colorado county high points west of Denver.