Up the Animas River Valley, CO (25) Bob Leverett
June 28, 2009


Today Rocky and I climbed to the highest point of Raider Ridge behind the house we are staying in. My neuralgia was acting up, so I did not join Monica at the Lutheran church service this morning where she was invited to play the piano again. We have been adopted by the congregation - very, very nice folks. They will help us find a place to stay next year when we return to Durango. 
The climb up Raider Ridge is steep. In a few spots you have to use your hands to steady yourself.  My starting elevation was 6,800 feet.  Rocky and I put on 1,100 feet of elevation very quickly. We reached the rocky summit at slightly over 7,900 feet elevation in just over an hour. We made the return trip in 35 minutes. 
On the way up the ridge, I took one of the two attached images. The image is of the upper Animas River Valley. The direction is to the northwest. The variegated coloring of the sandstone on the high ridge across the valley is beautiful. The other attached image is from the top, looking directly down into part of Durango. 
The tree species I encountered along the way included ponderosa pine, pinyon pine, Douglas fir, white fir, Colorado blue spruce, narrow leaf cottonwood, gambel oak, choke cherry, Rocky Mountain juniper, and quaking aspen. There are no record-sized trees on the ridge, but a scattering of ancient pines, firs, and junipers keeps one riveted to the ridge, hoping to find a really ancient tree of some species.

My first emails from Durango were about Raider Ridge. Compared to other ridges in the vicinity, it is pretty tame, but I wanted to climb it once more and this time make it to the absolute top.


295K View Download

354K View Download

Continued at: