Peak(s):  Mt Neva - 12814
Jasper Peak - 12923
Date Posted:  08/14/2016
Modified:  09/07/2016
Date Climbed:   07/22/2016
Author:  MtnHub
Additional Members:   dillonsarnelli, Brian Thomas, bergsteigen
 A Dynamic Duo in the IPW   

A Dynamic Duo in the IPW

July 22, 2016

Peaks: Mt. Neva (12,814') and Jasper Peak (12,923')

Trailhead: Fourth of July
Elevation gain: 3,561'
Distance: 10.5 miles

Start time: 5:15am
Return: 3pm

Climbers: dillonsarnelli (Dillon), bergsteigen (Otina), MtnHub (Doug),
with a special guest appearance by Brian Thomas (Brian)


I've never really been much of a list checker, at least as far as climbing mountains is concerned. Sure, it would be fun to boast about bagging all the Colorado 14ers, but that's just really not a huge deal to me. If I lived in CO and had more, or unlimited opportunities to climb any time I wanted to, that might change.

But while I'm always on the lookout for new and exciting places to hike, I'm not opposed to doing repeats at all. In fact, I actually enjoy a repeat climb even more than the first time around.

I guess I'm really more into the journey of each climb. I love long, high ridge hikes with a good class 3-4 scramble. I'd much rather repeat a favorite, fun mountain several times rather than walk up a new but straightforward mountain that is mostly a boring heap of rocks just to get them checked off.

Since I joined back in 2005, I've gotten to know many other members quite well. Now, in addition to climbing a new and fun mountain, one of my main objectives each year is to meet as many members as I can, either just to chat over coffee somewhere, or to actually partner with on a climb.

Otina and Dillon have been high on my list for a long time. I've been following their adventures for several years now and have grown to admire their talents and skills. Both are experienced veteran climbers, excellent photographers, and write a fascinating report. When I finally had the opportunity to do something with them I was totally thrilled! To hike with this dynamic duo on the same day was something I never expected.

A few years back I read a couple of reports on Mt. Neva, one written by Derek, and another more recent one by CarpeDM. Both made this mountain look very enticing. I was originally just hoping to bag Neva as my initial warm-up climb for my 2016 vacation.

When I ran it by Otina and Dillon, the hike somehow expanded to include Jasper as well. While I was a bit concerned I wouldn't be feeling up to doing both on the same day especially since it would be my first climb coming from the flatlands of IA, who was I to sway these two high-powered hitters into climbing just Neva. So we planned to hit a dynamic duo of peaks in the IPW!

The Climb:

Staying with a friend in Longmont, I drove down to Boulder in my rental sedan and parked in the Safeway shopping center parking lot. I was to meet Otina there who would drive us to the Fourth of July Trailhead. After waiting a few minutes, Brian pulled up next to me. Although I knew who he was from the site, I'd never met him before. Somehow he found out about our plans and asked to join us.

While the two of us got better acquainted, Otina finally arrived, and we loaded our gear into her truck. We found Dillon already waiting at the TH by the time we drove up.
Starting up the trail; the wildflowers lining the trail were gorgeous!

Moon setting over Jasper (?) and Neva.

At the Arapaho trail junction.

Coming up to the saddle of Mt. Neva and Quarter to Five Peak; Neva's rugged ridge highlighted by the sun.

Dillon analyzing the ridge; cloud inversion blanketing the Shadow Mountain National Recreation Area in the background.

A brief stop at Lake Dorothy.

The ridge we'll soon be on.

MtnHub coming up to the ridge. (photo by bergsteigen)

Starting the real climbing.

Dillon and Brian climbing up the first big bump.

Shortly after gaining the ridge, Brian turned around and bailed out. He didn't get much sleep the previous night and was feeling the effects. He ended up climbing Quarter to Five Peak - that's another story altogether, and I'll leave that for him to tell.
Otina climbs a steep section.

A peek through a notch.

A little fun scrambling. (photo by bergsteigen)

On to the next section.

"C'mon!," says Dillon. "It's easy peasy!" (photo by bergsteigen)

(photo by bergsteigen)

Looking back at that last big bump.



"How're you doing back there?"

Dillon takes a break while we catch up.

MtnHub on the ridge; like climbing the back of a stegosaurus. (photo by bergsteigen)

Thumbs up! Yeah, I'm good! (photo by bergsteigen)

Looking back on the valley approach.

One more drop and then it's an easy walk-up.


On the summit of Neva. (Go Nittany Lions!)

Up next, Jasper Peak. (photo by bergsteigen)

Looking back at Mt Neva from the saddle.

The two unnamed, half-melted out lakes below Neva.

Looking across the valley at the Arapaho's.

The long ridge up to Jasper's summit.

Along Jasper's ridge.

Longs and Meeker in the distance. (photo by bergsteigen)

After a brief stay on the summit of Jasper, we dropped down the east side, crossing a couple of snowfields to gain easier terrain: alpine grass and rocks versus loose talus.
The first snowfield crossing.

Once we reached the basin, we came across the plane wreckage just above Lake Xanadu (as is Jasper Peak, this lake is frequently unnamed on most maps.)

The crash occurred on Dec. 14, 1971:

The plane wreckage from 1971. (photo by bergsteigen)

Dillon investigates the wreckage. Lake Xanadu in the background.

Skywalker Couloir on the Arapaho's across the valley.

Waterfall on the way out.

Our final bushwhacking led us through some interesting terrain, wandering through thick forest and marshy areas. The downloaded map on Otina's GPS was not always accurate in telling us where to catch the Diamond Lake Trail but we eventually intersected it, and hiked back to the TH where Brian was waiting for us.
The team.

While it was a little more than I anticipated, or really wanted for my initial hike, I couldn't have asked for better partners on a perfect day! Thanks for a wonderful day!

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40

Comments or Questions

Beautiful Hike
08/14/2016 09:36
a friend and I did this last week, what a beautiful area! We did it from the west side of the divide though, coming back down to cottonwood lake. N Arapahoe peaks ridges look amazing as well.

Did one of you guys drop a water bottle? I found one of Neva's N Ridge


08/14/2016 15:29
Thanks, but I don't believe it was any of ours.

Brian Thomas

very nice
08/14/2016 16:57
Glad to see you're enjoying all of your visit to Colorado this year. Sorry I couldn't make it up Neva but was great to get Sopris the next week with you. Happy trails!


Love this!!
08/14/2016 17:38
This day has been on my list ever since I did the South to North Arapaho Traverse two summers ago! Should have contacted me too, I would have joined


08/15/2016 10:03
Doug, great read. This was a really fun day all around, from the scramble to the bushwhack! Thanks for inviting me. It was awesome to spend the day with you, Otina and Brian. Looks like the rest of your stay in this great state went nicely as well. Reunion in the Skywalker coulie next year, right? Here's 2 more pictures:


08/15/2016 07:34
It's cool coming back to and see this TR, right after I did both peaks yesterday. I hiked them with my dog Polar, so I did the class 2 version via Columbine Lake. We hiked in at night to watch the Perseid meteor shower on Arapaho Pass, and came back via the Storm Lakes, Jasper Lake, and the Diamond Lake trail. It was a very long day!


08/15/2016 10:30
Brian - great to meet you as well, but sorry it didn't work out for you that day. Was great to hike Sopris together however.

Dillon and Otina, thanks so much for your companionship on this! It was a super climb, but you two made it special! Dill, that's a super shot!! Thanks for including it now!

Kay -- I thought you were still climbing mts out of state. Ha!

Polar -- Perseid shower: that would have been a cool time to back there! Beautiful place!


08/15/2016 10:59
Nice climb and TR. Great compilation of pictures too.


Good lookin' ridge run, guys & gal
08/16/2016 10:28
Enjoyed the TR.


Thanks for your comments!
08/17/2016 17:42
Ryan, Brandon, thanks for reading this and for all your previous kind remarks and support! Coming from climbers of your caliber, I'm truly honored!

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