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Colden, Table Top & Mt. Jo

Mike P.

Jul 1, 2001
I was in the High Peaks on Thursday 7/25. Started at the Loj about 6:50 & got to Marcy Dame being the campers were out hiking. Van Hovenberg Trail to Marcy was in good shape, better than I remembered from 1995. Avalanche Pass trail to Feldspar (Lake Arnold?) trail was in fair shape the the latter was in decent shape, a little more eroded below the Indian Falls Crossover & pretty wet & eroded from there to Lake Arnold. The L. Morgan Porter trail from Lake Arnold to Colden's summit was pretty rugged, narrow in spots & muddy. you arrive at treeline on the lower summit which for an alpine environment seems more alpine than the main summit a couple of hundred feet higher than the dip in the ridge you have to make. Near teh top the trail actually goes under a large boulder leaning against another rock. Views from various open ledges on Colden's main summit provide stunning views down to Avalanche Lake & Lake Colden along with all the peaks near by.

I then went back to the Indian Falls Crossover to pick up the Van Hovenberg at Indian Falls. The crossover was wet in a couple of spots but they did a good job with the bog bridges. The herd path up Table Top is more marked, a little sparse but considering it's an unmarked trail.... Some views from the trail over the trees & through the dead reamins of older trees. Once back to Van Hoivenberg, I was back at the Lodge about 3:00.

After wondering around the Loj & lot I decided to do 2876 foot Mt. Jo also. (My wife's Great Aunt Jo is gravely ill so it was a long distance way of paying respects) The steepest part of the climb is above where the Long & short trails merge. While the short trail is steeper as described, below teh summit rocks it was not too bad, many steps placed on the trail. On the other hand, after climbing the other two, the 700 feet of elevation gain up Mt. Jo was pretty grueling.