A birthday party in Leadville on Saturday was the only excuse I needed to hike to the summit of Mount Hope (13,933') on Sunday. Both days were beautiful, sunny and cool. Many people in attendance at the party were ski buddies from winter hut trips, so seeing them in such a different setting was unusual. The hike up Mount Hope was relatively easy, if you disregard the fact this was my first summer hike and I was huffing and puffing. As I neared Hope Pass runners came over the hill, a practice run for a future race. They started at one trailhead, ran over the pass to the trailhead on the other side and then turned around to make the return trip. Some of the people looked like they were having an awful time. Staring at the ground to watch ones footing in such a beautiful setting is not my idea of fun. Nice views from the summit, but then the wind changed and smoke from the South Fork fires moved in and covered the region in a blueish haze, not good for deep breathing when hiking down the mountain. I hope this is the start of an eventful summer hiking season with the goal of bagging a few more 14teeners.