Alpine Lakes Wilderness, Hike-a-thon, Hiking, TNAB, Top Trips


Oh, right, TNAB. I vowed to go to more of these Thursday evening hikes/sufferfests…then we went to one this winter, and promptly stopped. Why? Laziness, that’s why. Mostly, though, it’s because of the drive – rush hour traffic makes it difficult to be at the trailhead by 5:45.

Rampart Ridge? Worth fighting traffic.

To the family we met at the trailhead who warned us about the yellow jacket nest on trail, thank you so much! JK and Basil (who has the worst luck with bugs) still managed to get stung, as did some later arrivals, but Dani, Wellie and I managed to skulk into the woods and bypass the Nest of Evil. Luckily Basil seemed to be doing fine, but we gave him Benadryl just in case and kept a close eye on him the rest of the night.

If you’re hiking the Ramparts through “the backdoor” this fall, be careful, the nest is located right at the junction with Lake Laura, and the yellow jackets will repeatedly sting any man or beast who walks by. Last I heard, some thoughtful hikers had marked the area with flagging.

Stairway to heaven

Moving on, the meadowy bits below the summit were full of scampering marmots, but I didn’t get a single good shot of them. Clouds and forest fire haze foiled my photography plans and cast the mountains in gloomy light…

NABing and gabbing

…until sunset, when the sky ‘sploded in breathtaking pinks and purples. Whoa. When TNAB is good, it’s really good.


When TNAB is good...

There was the usual drinking and chatting, oohing and aahing, joking and reminiscing (even some snoozing, courtesy of Basil, who was still high on Benadryl), and JK and I realized that we had missed this more than we thought.


We vowed yet again to attend more TNABs…and then Mother Nature decided that she would serve up epic storms every Thursday from then on.

If we’re going to fight traffic, it’s going to be for something a bit more pleasant than “rain Armageddon“. So…maybe next week. Or next year?


– Rampart Ridge | 4.5 miles | 2,200 feet gain –

Rainer with LAVA!!!11!

Humongous thanks to my Hike-a-Thon sponsors, Kelsie…

Thanks, Kelsie!


Thanks, Lauren!

…and Lyn! Y’all rock!

Thanks, Lyn!

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  • Reply Ingvild September 6, 2013 at 10:07 am

    Jeg har uregelmessig fulgt blogg(ene) dine lenge, og nå må jeg bare kommentere. For noen bilder du tar! Og for en fantastisk natur du ferdes i! :D

  • Reply jill i September 11, 2013 at 2:54 pm

    Oh those colors in the sunset!!! But the yellowjackets will keep me away from Rampart Ridge this fall I think. already been stung once this summer and that was enough! BTW have you hiked Trapper Peak? It’s my calendar shot this month and it’s so gorgeous I want to go there soon or next summer.

  • Reply Karen@ La Chanson de Ma Vie September 16, 2013 at 3:35 pm

    That is an amazing sunset. I was staring at the first sunset photo and swear that it almost moves and changes hue the longer you look at it. Your hikes are insanely beautiful, I need to come play with you in the mountains!

  • Reply 民宿 September 16, 2013 at 6:24 pm

    Really a great article in the early days before looking for a very long period of time has not been queried,

  • Reply Kirsten Leah September 30, 2013 at 2:27 am

    That’s gorgeous! You need to come to Colorado! ;)

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