Saturday, June 6, 2015

Juniper Pass - A Lofty Nemesis

Juniper Pass, Colorado

"Always do what you are afraid to do." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

At the pinnacle of Squaw Pass Road there's a crossways notch in the landscape known as Juniper. Often overlooked on the way to Echo Lake, the route is garnished with dangerous cliffs, perilous drop-offs and extreme vertigo.

Here, the Mount Evans Wilderness is a wide expanse of pristine terrain, timber and terror. Crowned with snow-capped peaks, the dramatic composition is classic Colorado. It's a solitary confrontation with a lofty nemesis.

A narrow strip of spruce and fir forest clings to the sheer headwall while stately cypresses of juniper decorate the edge of this rugged realm. Scrambling across this exposed ridge in the open air is a harrowing experience.

Trekking through the forbidding gap will challenge your strength, athleticism and acrophobia but during these times of turmoil and chaos, an indispensable courage will be summoned from places unknown.

Fortunately, the seldom climbed crags are secretly hidden in a beautiful, sub-alpine setting. Just below the Continental Divide at 12,00 feet, what better place to face one's fear than straddling this frightening watershed.

At the pinnacle of Squaw Pass Road

Steep cliffs ahead

Perilous drop-offs

Mount Evans Wilderness

A wide expanse of pristine terrain

Snow-capped peaks

A narrow strip of spruce and fir

A rugged realm

An exposed ridge

A forbidding gap

The crags are hidden

A frightening watershed

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