Sunday, September 30, 2007
Black Range Backpack-Aldo Leopold Wilderness
Hiking around the gorge in Holden Prong is quite a haul. Now,exhausted, we were looking for a camping spot. Coincidentally, the canyon had narrowed considerably and there really wasn't any space to pitch a tent. Eventually, we did find a slightly wider area and decided it would do. It's amazing how much better you feel just by getting the pack off. The next morning I caught a few more fish, all good fighters, until we reached the often photographed series of waterfalls that marks the beginning( or the end in my case) of the fishing water on Holden Prong. I tried the deep pool below the falls without success.Then, I decided to just dunk myself in the cold water.We did see a five-legged leopard frog on a rock face above the pool. The Rio Grande cutthroats had been great fun: each one a classic. Now we started the considerable task of reaching Sid's Prong saddle. It was a much longer hike to the crest than I remembered from a previous backpack,but we did make it to Holden Prong saddle, and after a good rest we set out on the Crest Trail. It just so happened, as we stood out on the exposed ridgeline, that the first thunderstorms in 3 days began to the west and south of us.The humidity soared in this late afternoon as we tried to speed to Sid's Prong saddle.IMPORTANT UPDATE: Sadly, this beautiful area was within the Silver Fire ( June, 2013). Expect vastly altered conditions in the future.