Cajas at 14,200 ft.
Hiking the Cajas can be relaxing or adventurous. The other day a good friend and I discovered the adventurous when we decided to blaze a new way back to the road. Instead of doubling back the way we came once reaching the target upper lakes at 13,000 ft, we decided to try a return via the ridge line to the east. Our plan was the cross the far ridge line and exit through the next valley. The only problem was, no matter how far down the ridge line we went, there didn't seem to be a reasonable way back down. We ended up traversing the whole ridge line at the 14k ft. level for several hours looking for a way back down. For added interest, there was a strong icy wind blowing out the east the entire time. Late in the afternoon, far past the time when we could have doubled back the way we came without leaving us up there in the dark, we decided the only way down was to tackle a steep slope. Luckily for us, the fog and drizzle didn't move in until we got back down to the road. We started the hike at 7:30am and was at it continuously except for 5-10 minute breaks until 6pm.