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Our second hike of the Thanksgiving weekend was Coliseum mountain. Elevation gain is around 650 metres with a total distance, round trip, of about 17 km. The trail starts just a few hundred metres from the hostel.
For the most part, it's an easy, uphill walk, with only a few tantalizing glimpses of the valley below.
Our decision to wait an extra day paid off - the snow was pretty much gone from the south-facing slopes with only a bit left in amongst the trees.
After getting about 3/4 of the way up, there is a great spot to stop for a break, an open area with some nice boulders to climb on, and an opportunity for some photos.
Cute couple shot, me clowning around...
and 'heroic leader pose #71'.
Had a nice break, then kept on going.
As we neared the top, the snow started to close in, but we had no real problems getting through. Maximum depth on the trails was only 6-8 inches.
We topped out at a second lookout, with views of the ridgewalk to the summit...
Nice to have the elevation behind us, but we had to traverse a scree slope before getting into the easy part. The path wasn't clear at first, but I scouted ahead and found it. It was slippery and snow-covered, but most of us had Microspikes and poles so it wasn't too big a deal.
A few nervous people, and I talked one woman across the narrowest part. Stay high in case you slip, use the snow to make level steps, and take your time....
Just one place where a fall could have been risky...
From the end of the traverse the trail goes through the trees, then comes out to a clear spot where the ridge narrows, with views to either side, and a good look at the route to the top.
We stopped there for lunch, then split into two groups. The older man from Belgium wanted to wait there and a couple of others were unsure about doing it, but five people went ahead just another kilometre or so to bag the peak. An easy scramble with the summit at the end of it.
Fun on top:
Across the ridge through the trees to rejoin the rest of the group...
Again the Microspikes proved their worth - they picked up clumps of wet snow, but still held solidly.
... and down the switchbacks. While it had been cool on top, it was a lot warmer as we dropped back down into the valley.
No worries, though. A good hike, some nice views, a great group of people, and a potluck Thanksgiving dinner at the end of it!