December 30, 2015

Imogene Pass: Descent

Imogene Pass is the notoriously treacherous mountain road (high clearance 4X4 vehicles only, please) that connects the towns of Ouray and Telluride Colorado. It was where we spent most of our Friday on the Colorado Fall Color Tour in September.

The road covers about 17 miles in distance but has an elevation gain of about 6,000 feet (capping out at over 13,000 feet at the summit).

I captured this image at the summit of the pass. It is my attempt to convey the awe of standing 13,000 feet above sea level. If you look closely you’ll see a vehicle (a Jeep, I believe) in the lower left of the frame on the road. That should give you an idea of the scale.

But still, the image doesn’t do it justice. To get a better idea of this scene at 13,000 feet, turn on the A/C to about 30°, then cup several layers of cotton over your nose and mouth — enough to severely limit your oxygen intake — before you look. For greater appreciation, cover yourself in about an 16th of an inch of fine yellow road dust (King Arthur’s Flour will do in a pinch), then have another look. You’ll get the picture.

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