Ascent of Mount Flora on 2017-07-15

Climber: William Musser

Others in Party:Karen Musser
Date:Saturday, July 15, 2017
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Mount Flora
    Elevation:13142 ft / 4005 m

Ascent Trip Report

A nice morning day hike. Parked at Berthoud Pass at 11,315 feet and hiked up the Colorado Mine trail up to the road where there is a sign that you can continue up the Mine Peak or head more direct east on a line to Mount Flora - which is what we did. The trail is very good. Not too steep and free from boulders and rocks so is an easy climb. I saw dozens of seniors doing the journey and over 2,000 foot climb without trouble. The wild flowers apparently a good part of the reason. There are some nice views at the saddle between Colorado Mines Peak and Flora looking down on a small cirque lake to the south and then another at the peak looking down on Ethel Lake which still had some ice sheets. It was not clear which peak was the true summit at the top although the trail and signage certainly want you to believe it is where the trail junction ends. There is a cairn over to the north bump that appears higher than the summit wind shelters but no trail there. I scampered over there and tagged it to be sure thus, picking up some extra distance and gain although the second bump in my estimation is less than a 100 foot saddle climb. I could not tell which peak for certain is higher.

Karen had no issues and found this hike smack dab in her sweet spot. We took a "Wildflowers of Colorado" Field guide along and enjoyed some introductory flower identifications. We had time to key out and identify the following:

> Rosy Paintbrush (Castilleja rhexiifolia)
> Featherleaf Fleabane (Erigeron pinnatisectus)
> Sky Pilot (Polemonium viscosum)
> Giant Red Paintbrush (Castilleja miniata) also called scarlet paintbrush
> American Bistort (Polygonum bistortoides)
> Alpine Avens (Geum rossii)
> Broadleaf Arnica (Arnica latifolia)
> Heartleaf Arnica (Arnica cordifolia)
> Common Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)
> Alpine Paintbrush (Castilleja puberula)
> Western Indian Paintbrush (Castilleja occidentalis)

We have some hesitation on whether we saw both yellowish paintbrush species or just one. But think this is correct. Same with the rosy versus scarlet. The information sign says it is rosy up on the hill and we defiantly saw rosey; but there was a lot of dark scarlet colored paintbrush observed as well so we think both species was observed.

Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:2192 ft / 667 m
    Total Elevation Loss:365 ft / 110 m
    Round-Trip Distance:6 mi / 9.7 km
    Quality:7 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail
    Weather:Pleasant, Breezy, Clear
65f beautiful
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:1912 ft / 582 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 1827 ft / 557 m; Extra: 85 ft / 25m
    Loss on way in:85 ft / 25 m
    Distance:2.7 mi / 4.3 km
    Route:Standard route from pass
    Start Trailhead:Berthoud Pass parking lot  11315 ft / 3448 m
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:280 ft / 85 m
    Gain on way out:280 ft / 85 m
    Distance:3.3 mi / 5.3 km
Ascent Part of Trip: Denver-9

Complete Trip Sequence:
1Mount Flora2017-07-15 a2192 ft / 668 m
2Colorado Mines Peak2017-07-15 b333 ft / 101 m
Total Trip Gain: 2525 ft / 769 m    Total Trip Loss: 698 ft / 212 m

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