Don Fried — Playwright & Author

A Walk on the Mountain Top

Posted on: December 14, 2008

north-table-mountain-2I’m back from my hike on North Table Mountain with 4 friends from the Boulder Outdoor Group.  As the mountain’s name would suggest, once we climbed the 400 or so vertical feet from the trail head, the top was more or less a mesa, about 8 square miles of gently rolling terrain, broken by some impressive rock formations. By 10 am, the wind blew off the morning haze, and the views over the city of Golden on the one side, and Denver and the plains on the other were spectacular.

That wind down in the valleys often amounted to a gale at the top of the mountain, which threatened to blow us off the trails as we hiked the circumference of the summit. On the other hand, the sun shone strongly most of the day, and when we were away from the edge of the mountain, it was practically toasty.

There were a couple of inches of snow covering much of the top, and my trekking poles came in handy to prevent me from sliding down the steeper sections of the trail. It’s funny how quickly I come to rely on them again and transition from being a two-footed animal to a four-footed one.

The layer of snow and the frosty temperature in the morning had discouraged walkers, and although the trailheads surrounding North Table Mountain are less than a half-hour drive from one of the largest population centers in the country, we encountered only three other hikers in the 4 hours we walked. The lack of people encouraged the wildlife, and we saw a coyote and a herd of about 60 deer which spend the winter sheltering beneath the cliffs on the edges of the mountain.

Having the opportunity for days like yesterday is one of the reasons that Rhonda and I selected Boulder to move to when we left Europe.  Don’t you love it when a plan comes together?

2 Responses to "A Walk on the Mountain Top"

On the other hand, here in Austin the weather is more like spring. I prefer that to the snow ; ) Granted, we can get high winds and cold nights, but spending most of the winter in short sleeves at around 60 degrees is much better for my morale (and aches and pains) than bundling up against snow and ice.

I must say that I was a bit confused at the mention of Table Mountain lol – thought you had taken a quick trip to sunny SA!

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