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 Peak(s):  Hallett Peak - 12,713 feet
Flattop Mountain - 12,324 feet
 Post Date:  12/02/2012 Modified: 07/09/2014
 Date Climbed:   11/21/2012
 Posted By:  dmccool

 ROCKY I --- THE HALLETTOP   

Mountains
Hallet Peak - 12,713 Ranked 28th in RMNP
Flattop Mountain - 12,324 Unranked

Statistics
Trailhead: Bear Lake
Start time: 6:45am
Summit of Flattop: 10:00am
Summit of Hallett: 10:45
End time: 2:00pm

Participants
Dan McCool
Dillon Sarnelli (The second-coming of the original Italian Stallion)

Background Info

About 2 months ago, Dillon and I had this crazy idea to take on the ranked peaks of Rocky Mountain National Park…all 99 of them. Anyone who knows me and my “availability” will likely laugh at such an undertaking. I really only get out in the hills about once a month these days due to my 2 young boys. So needless to say, this 99-part adventure will take somewhere around 30 years to complete.

Having said that, here goes ROCKY I a.k.a. THE HALLETTOP

We arrived at the Bear Lake TH around 6:30 and got underway shortly afterward that.
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Bear Lake map

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Early morning at frozen Bear Lake


The trail through the trees was snow-packed, but microspikes worked just fine the whole day.
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trail conditions in the trees

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looking out toward Estes Park

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Dillon at the Dream Lake overlook. Tyndall Glacier can be seen to the right of Dillon’s mellon


The entire hike gives fantastic views of Longs Peak. As we made our way up toward treeline, we could see the wind swirling spindrifts throughout the Boulderfield. It would definitely be a sign of things to come.

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Longs with the winds swirling

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Dan checks to see if Dillon’s camera is working (thanks for that, D)

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Dillon from the Emerald Lake overlook – Hallett Peak is directly above Dillon’s rather large dome

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looking down on Emerald Lake w/ Longs lurking


The winds were really making themselves known above treeline. From about 11,800 to Tyndall Glacier, we easily had sustained 30-40 mph wind.

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trail above treline approaching Flattop Mtn.

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Hallett Peak(ing) out

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Hallet as we reach the divide

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Dan approaching Flattop

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Hallett from Flattop


At this point, we were blasted by wind. The skies were blue, but there was a ground-blizzard unlike any either of us had ever experienced. 50 mph sustained is not an exaggeration. We had a hard time staying upright in the fresh powder/loose rock.

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Somehow we managed a Flattop summit shot

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Dillon w/Tyndall Glacier behind him (off the ridge)

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Dan on the approach to Hallett

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Some unrecognizable human being

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Summit shot with Longs and many future ROCKY sequels behind us


The summit stay was brief and unbearably cold. I managed to eat something, but I paid a heavy price for taking my mittens off. Thank God for hand warmers.

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Dillon back near the glacier on the decent


The decent was quick and scenic. Once back at Bear Lake, we ran into a group of French tourists. I spent many years of my life taking French classes in school and I NEVER get to use my skills (ok, “skills” is a loose term. I have Southern-Indiana-Native-French-Accent-Skills). So there we are, asking them to take our photo. I excitedly say, with the utmost confidence, “Avec la montagne derrière nous, s’il vous plait.” And what do I get in return? Nothin'. I got snubbed. No response. French Tourists – 1, dmccool – 0.

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back at Bear Lake


ROCKY I is now in the books. The seal has been broken on our little journey and I hope that someday we’ll be writing the ROCKY XCIX Trip Report – Coming to a Mountaineering Website near you…Winter 2042



Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
 
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