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By Ann Driggers

Descending the 401 trail in Crested Butte - photo by Chris Webster.

At this time of year, on the cusp of Fall, I am possessed by a feverish need to cram in as much as I can. As the days shorten and the shadows lengthen, like a critter preparing for the winter ahead, I pick up the pace squirrelling away more summer memories. Another trail to ride, a mountain to climb, there is simply not enough time to fit in everything I had hoped. Still I do my best and this past weekend was no exception. I need another day off from work to recover from the holiday!

We headed to Crested Butte, that fun and funky little town plonked in the middle of the most ridiculously beautiful places on the planet. Our core group of six arrived and quickly swelled with the addition of local friends. Camped on the edge of town in a meadow amongst the glowing aspens and circled by mountains, we had rain and we had sun. There was riding, much laughter and silliness, more riding, plenty of partying,  riding again and somewhere in the middle of the social and adventure vortex I managed to cram in one of my most memorable mountain hikes of the summer.

Although Mount Owen is a CB classic and at 13,058 feet the highest peak in the Ruby Range, it's not technical, or long or even requires much ascent. Still its fun, and occassionally airy, ridge hike and magnificent views quickly put it right to the top of the pile of my summer memories. Good company made it even better. My homies, Brittany and Twyla:

It started out as an easy hike along a road above Irwin and Kebler Pass, but being the local mountain goat, Brittany decided to mix it up for us and we headed cross-country to reach Green Lake.

Onwards and upwards to the pass between Ruby and Owen we head. The ridge stretches out behind towards the summit of Mount Owen in the distance:


The views were so ridonkulous every which way I looked, my head nearly span off.

On the summit looking out towards the Elks with the Maroon Bells, Pyramid and Castle prominent on the sky line:

And as has become customary....some extreme mountain yoga:

Just this weekend, in the space of three days we really noticed the leaves changing and the nights cooler. They say fall is a week ahead of schedule and the peak is not far away. 

So I am crammin' to bank a few more 'summer' memories.


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