Bandera Mountain (5240')
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The first section of the hike heads continuously uphill on a fairly even, very wide track. After crossing several waterfalls the view starts to open up. The day was slightly overcast but the breeze was enough to cause some wonderful cloud swirls atop the surrounding peaks. It was enough to keep my mind from focusing too much on the intense burn in my legs.
While I’d jump on a sunny day to stand on a summit, getting to watch the cloud cover dance around the peaks on these moderately cloudy days is just as enjoyable. It is like watching a painting that changes every time you blink.
Once I was out of the tree cover the real fun began. There was still a considerable amount of snow at this elevation. I pulled my ice-ax out and got ready for the best part. Since the trail was completely covered I took the opportunity to practice my mountaineering skills and went straight up the side of the hill. At least one other had opted for the route I was on. Others had opted for a path where a few kind humans had kicked in some basic switchbacks.