Q: What do Grouse Gulch, Amazing Sunsets, and Pika have in common????

By Anne Mead

A: The Western Expeditioners get to experience them all in Colorado! Here’s what they’ve been doing the last couple of days…

The WXPers decided to hike Grouse Gulch, which is a trail to access Handies Peak. It took them 3 or 4 hours to hike to the ridge. A few hours in, the campers herd Pika and set up to do some Pika monitoring. Pika are the smallest members of the rabbit family. Unfortunately, they didn’t see any, but they did hear a bunch! That night they camped up on the ridge, and most of the campers said it was the most beautiful place they had ever been too. There was a wicked cool sunset followed by a tremendous display of alpenglow!

The basin between them and Handies Peak was full of snow, so the group decided that they would day hike on the ridge. This was a good call because at about two o’clock, a storm came up with hail and lots of wind. They were able to retreat to their tents and hunkered down until it cleared about suppertime.

The campers got to watch runners train for the Hardrock 100, which was a really neat experience. The Hardrock 100 is a 100-mile race through the San Juan Mountains. The runners were postholing and having a difficult time with travel. With all the excitement of the last couple days, the expeditioners got to camp out underneath another fabulous sunset. The campers said it was SO good, and if that’s not cool enough, they fell asleep with thunder rumbling in the distance. Overall, the campers are having an unforgettable experience that keeps getting better!