Hiking Mt Royal, Mt Victoria Frisco CO 15 Sept 2007

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  Trailhead, just up the bike trail from Main Street Decription of Masontown, 1 mile up the hiking trail. Chris and Keith came along to see what was left of Masontown. Looking down at twisted remains after the avalanche, nearly 100 years ago Not sure what this used to be Notice the brick work in the ground - paving stones, more clearly visible on the right

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  Looking uphill, clearly this was an avalanche chute. In the foreground, hard to see but the ground is yellow from mine tailings Further up the hill, looking further up the avalanche chute The 2 goldens behind Bob belong to another hiker, we meet him here on the way up. Overlook just above Masontown area, looking over Frisco

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  The hills to the south of Frisco show large areas of dead trees, likely from the bark beetle investation :-( Just past the overlook, the trail gets steep. The steep part goes for a long ways, maybe 1/4 mile. Trail guide says this is 19% grade. Off to the left during this climb are several big holes. This one is smaller than most, with yellow mine tailings on the left. We're guessing this used to be a mine shaft, now collapsed.

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  Finally the tail forks - right to Mt Royal, left to unofficially named Mt Victoria, one peak west. We went right and met the hiker with dogs coming back down Very friendly dogs Rock cairn at the unofficial top of Mt Royal. Notice Bob looking down. Here's what he's looking down at - I-70. It's pretty straight down here.

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  Looking north-east at I-70 and the valley up to Green Mountain Reservoir Bob That's as close to the edge as I can get My poor attempt at Cptn Morgan. We really needed Keith for a "Keith on the edge" shot here. Looking down trail from the cairn top of Mt Royal. Is that Grays and Torres to the right?

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  We descended a bit from the cairn to the fork in the trail and this time took the south fork, towards unofficial Mt Victoria. We think this used to be a mine shaft, collapsed. Just up the trail from whatever that was, remains of a cabin with walls still standing. Looking roughly north, a doorway in the far wall I wuz here :-) Looking east (doorway on the left), a window frame.

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  Farther up the trail, remains of something too small to be a cabin, we're guessing a sluice box Looking down into the remains Same remains View from here is pretty good, looking down at Dillon Reservoir Further up where the trail to Mt Victoria is unmaintained (and pretty eroded), better views

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  Taking a rest to enjoy the view. We debated turning around here. We kept hiking up and up and up... and were rewarded with even better views I-70 snaking east around Dillon Reservoir Debating - looks like we're nearly at the top but it's hard to tell if the ridge just continues forever south-west or if there's a peak that ends the trail. Need the "End of Trail" sign here (see South Dakota trip) "the sun-kissed peaks in the distance" :-). We're guessing we're at about 11,500 ft here.

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  We went a few feet further to get a better view. Notice how steep the terrain is. Ah, this view made all the climbing worthwhile. Right Left Lots of boats down in the bay

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  The townhouse we rented is hidden off to the left, around the next ridge About to head back down this slippery slope One last gaze at the view, but we want to be down well before sunset. We leave a message for Ann with a ETA of ~6:30pm in case they wanted to do an earlier dinner (yeah, right :-). Yeah it's steep. Took us just over 2 hours to get up here (including the short climb to Mt Royal and back down). Was almost exactly the estimated 1:20 to get down to trailhead.

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