Hoosier Pass | Arapaho National Forest
Breckenridge, CO | 11/07/20 | 4.64 miles | 1,630′ gain
By early November, the first snow of the season had melted and we had a good weather window for a couple more 13ers. Hoosier Ridge and Red Mountain C are typically done as an out and back from Hoosier Pass, and with all the bumps on Hoosier’s long ridge, that means plenty of ups and downs in both directions. To avoid returning over all of the bumps, Allie and I devised a point-to-point route from Hoosier Pass to Fredonia Gulch. We’d have to take two cars but that wasn’t the end of the world. I spent the night at Allie’s in Denver so we could get an early start. We parked one car at a family friend’s house near the Fredonia Gulch Trail (our end point) and then we drove up Hoosier Pass. We parked and were on trail before 7am.
The “trail” starts across the highway so we crossed and started up the dirt road. After about 1/2 mile, the road turns left and heads to some radio towers. We continued straight on a faint trail up Hoosier Ridge. We were soon above treeline and had incredible views.
The route was steep but would normally be perfectly manageable at a slow pace. However, I was really struggling. It was just one of those days where my body wasn’t feeling it and I had to will it to move every single step.
Eventually I became frustrated with myself and we had a long talk about what we were going to do. I knew that I could make it, but it would take me three times longer than normal. I wasn’t having any fun and most of the reason I climb these mountains is purely for fun. If I’m not having fun, why am I doing it? I decided to turn around and let Allie finish the route. It was lucky we’d parked two cars. I was able to transfer the maps to Allie and she continued down to her car in Fredonia Gulch.
I descended slowly, disappointed that I wasn’t able to reach my goal but ultimately happy with my decision. Even though I didn’t summit a single 13er, I still saw some incredible views. I drove down to Fredonia Gulch and transferred Allie’s stuff from my car to hers, stashing her keys and texting her a picture of where I hid them. She had service on the ridge and we kept in contact to make sure she got down okay. She even met another hiker that she ended up hiking with the rest of the time so she wasn’t alone. I felt bad but she made it down safely and moved much faster once I wasn’t holding her back. Hoosier & Red, you are HIGH on my list for 2021.