Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Glacier Gorge Snowshoeing

Since I'm just getting this blog started, I figured I might upload some things from a few major trips I did within the last year. Here's the first:

On Jan. 17 of this year, my friend Brock and I headed up to Glacier Gorge in RMNP to do some snowshoeing. We got there around 10am and headed up the trail toward Mills Lake.

It was a gorgeous day with temperatures just above freezing and not a cloud in the sky. Eventually we gave up trying to follow the trail and just stuck to the frozen stream.

Mills lake was gorgeous and was completely frozen over except for the inlet. We also had spectacular views of the west side of Longs Peak and Keyboard of the Winds. The following photo show Mills Lake in front of a backdrop of peaks. Visible are Storm Peak, Longs, Pagoda, and Chief's Head (left to right). It's remarkable how little snow is on the peaks since we didn't get any big snows until late in the season this year.

From there, we headed up past Jewel Lake and all the way up to Black Lake. Temperatures were much cooler here since Black Lake is at about 10,600 ft., just below tree line. We had a quick snack, took some pictures and headed back down the trail.

This is one of the best days I've spent in the mountains. The weather was absolutely perfect and the sky even seemed extra blue. There's practically no avalanche risk along the route and I would definitely recommend it for anyone who wants to do some snowshoeing this winter.

In all, we hiked almost 11 miles in 6 hours with about 2,100 ft of elevation gain. The National Park has a completely different, more serene feel without all the crowds the summer brings.

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