Blast from the Past: Blanca Peak

Twenty years ago I bought a first-generation entry-level digital camera. Since digital cameras were still a very new thing back then, I was mostly interested in it from a technical point of view. But I also started taking pictures with it during some of my hiking trips.

However, obviously the quality was not that good yet (no wonder, with just 1.3 megapixels), and only under ideal conditions did it produce somewhat decent images. So I used it for a couple of years, but then ditched it again, only buying another camera more than ten years later.

But I still have several of the images I took with that clunky old camera, which by now have acquired quite a bit of sentimental value. I even managed to “revive” a few of the nicest ones by doing some color and contrast adjustments. Some of these images were from a 3-day hiking trip up Blanca Peak, a 14-er in southern Colorado.

Blanca Peak is located in the southern Rocky Mountains, and at 14,351 ft (4,374 m) it is the 4th highest peak in the state of Colorado, USA. Together with some friends from Santa Fe, NM, we drove up north across the state border in August of 2001, to hike up this beautiful mountain.

A view of Blanca Peak from the road leading up to its base.

On the first day we hiked up to a beautiful mountain lake about halfway up, where we set up our tents and settled in for the night.

Our campsite next to a beautiful mountain lake.

The next day we took our day packs and hiked up to the actual peak. Most of the way up was along a steep and rocky trail above the treeline, which allowed for spectacular views. There were several more (smaller) lakes along the way.

One of the lakes higher up.
A look back down into the valley where our campsite was.

Once we had reached the peak we enjoyed our lunch and the amazing all-around views. Then we made our way down again, back to our campsite where we spent a second night.

The view from the top of Blanca Peak.

The third day we packed up our tents, hiked back out to our cars, and drove back to Santa Fe. An amazing trip that, even 20 years later, I still remember vividly. And I even still have some fuzzy pictures of it!