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Mount Neva from the North side
(Mount Neva from the North side)
Summary

Mount Neva Elevation 12,814ft. (August 21, 2005) "Northwest Slopes" trail from Junco/Columbine Lake TH. From this TH, this class 2 trail runs (9miles rt. with 2,813ft. gain). This trailhead can be reached by taking the Meadows Creek road North from just South of the town of Tabernash. The road goes to Meadow Reservoir. Once at the lake you go around it clockwise to the Junco/Columbine Lake TH. There are also signs for hiking the Caribou trail from this TH.

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Trip Schedule break down
Sunday 8:54AM -leave Car at the TH (10,028ft.)
  12:00PM -Summit Mount Neva.
  2:23PM -back at Car

From the Junco TH the trail takes a leisurely path up a creek and meadow to Columbine Lake. The hike to the lake was pretty soggy and there are several log crossing which were there to help you stay out of the mud. From the lake you head right or to the South. The trail/s that take you to the saddle for a climb up Neva's Northwest ridge are numerous, so just pick one. As you get closer to the climb up to the saddle you should be able to find a well worn path. On our way back down we were able to take the most used path all the way back to the trail, that connects at the lake.

From the saddle the trail stays just beneath the steep slope that you immediately see and heads South moving away for the ridgeline and towards the middle of slope. After skirting the first steep parts, a path can be found that does a long traverse just bellow the ridgeline. There is a big knob on the ridgeline, so you are avoiding having to climb up that, but you reach the ridgeline just after. Once at the ridgeline you can follow it all the way up into the grass slopes of the Mount Neva's West slope. The summit is actually away from the rocky class 4 North ridgeline and across a green slope to the right or South.

Although I was traveling with my wife and her friend, I ended up sumiting by myself while my wife and her Boston based friend were adjusting to the altitude. We did accelerate up in altitude quickly, so that was my fault. I did the last 1,000 ft in about 30 minutes and then descended to where my other party members were waiting. I made it back in time to miss out on the lightening strikes back on the summit. The rest of the return trip to the car was endured with light rain showers.