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04 March 2007 @ 08:45 pm
There May Have Been Snowshoeing Again Today  
And so there was. And pictures.

The snow was better than last week (and three weeks ago), but not as good as two weeks ago. There was a fair amount of fresh snow, but it was heavy, wet snow that sticks to everything (eventually, you get globs of ice on the cleats of the shoes, the straps on the shoes, even the walking sticks). And the fact that it was really warm didn't really help things -- it actually got slushy in a few places (admittedly, those are spots that don't tend to hold their snow anyway, since they're very exposed to the south, and next to a steep slope).

It was really warm -- I wore a t-shirt most of the day.

Anyway, I kinda overdid it, as I'm (unfortunately) prone to do sometimes. About six hours, maybe eight miles. The last mile or so was very, very slow, since I'd been running on fumes for about three miles at that point, and the last bit was uphill. I didn't get to the trailhead until almost 11AM this morning (too late to park in the Glacier Gorge parking lot), so I parked at Bear Lake. And since I was going up to Mills Lake...

I'm really sore. Really, really sore, sorer than I was after the first time up three weeks ago.

Also got a slight sunburn.

Anyway, I tried to make it all the way to Black Lake, but turned back about half a mile short. It was an awesome hike, but difficult. Not that many people go past Mills Lake, so the trail isn't as packed down (and is braided in places), so it's more work. And there's a bit more altitude, and the steady, unrelenting climb up the gorge.

I really wanted to make it, but first I was getting tired (more tired than I'd thought I was, actually, judging by how tired I was going down -- here's the thing about snowshoeing in Rocky Mountain National Park. You start at nine or ten thousand feet, then start climbing. There's damn little flat. And climbing snow, well... It's harder than hiking, especially when you find the loose trails along the slopes, or have to cut over a really tall, steep snowbank... You get the idea). Second, I hit my turn-around time of three and a half hours. I didn't want it to turn into a seven (or god forbid, eight) hour hike -- I was already starting to run out of daylight as it was. As it was, I didn't think it would take six -- I was figuring more like five.

I do want to make it all the way up there someday, but it'll probably have to wait until I return from Japan. It'll be almost as hard next weekend as it was this one, methinks.

Anyway, stopped at the Wendy's I usually stop at in Boulder (not always, but sometimes). Really, I needed a bathroom, so I figured I'd grab a bite to eat while I was at it. Then I saw that there was a Noodles & Company right next to it, and couldn't resist the siren call of their indonesian peanut saute with lots and lots of the Siracha hot sauce in it. Mmmmm. At this point, of course, it was about 7PM and dark -- I'd had a lot longer day than I'd originally planned.

Also, note to self -- until they freakin' repaint the lines on 93, never ever (ever!) drive that road at night again. Holy f*cking jeebus. Ended up driving in the shoulder "lane" at one point -- and I wasn't the only one. Somebody else (who was a apparently a Golden firefighter, judging by the plate and bumper sticker) did it too right in front of me. In the middle of Golden.

Jeebus.

Okay, pictures:

Wandering through the woods...



I think maybe the falls are snowed in.



Some people may think it strange that I have a favorite tree in Rocky Mountain National Park, but that isn't the only park where I have one. This is the tree. I have pictures of that tree in Summer, and in Fall. Now I have one in Winter.



Up past Mills Lake. Climbing, climbing, climbing...



Here I am, having climbed all this way, and Longs Peak is still 3,000 feet above me (that's it all the way to the left, the blocky-looking thing -- it's actually quite distinctive).



Back at Mills Lake, starting to run out of daylight.



Me! On Mills Lake, slightly earlier in the day, on my way up.



 
 
In the mood: sorereally, really sore
 
 
 
geniusofevilgeniusofevil on March 5th, 2007 05:42 am (UTC)
man I haven't been hiking in YEARS! But this year. This year I can do it.
Douglas Triggs: gardendoubt72 on March 5th, 2007 02:45 pm (UTC)
You can do it!

(I can't remember, were you in Boulder or Westminster?)
geniusofevilgeniusofevil on March 6th, 2007 10:09 pm (UTC)
neither!
Douglas Triggs: garden2doubt72 on March 7th, 2007 12:01 am (UTC)
Heh, mostly I get you and Holly confused sometimes (or at least certain details confused, like where you are, approximately), because I added both of you at the same time.

I was mostly thinking of suggesting places to go hiking, but I'm guessing you wouldn't have too much trouble finding someplace good and local.
Dustybigmog on March 5th, 2007 07:13 am (UTC)
Ramen = Noodles
A restaurant shouldn't be called Noodles & Co. if they don't serve ramen.
Kyaa the Catlord: hungrykyaathecatlord on March 5th, 2007 07:30 am (UTC)
Re: Ramen = Noodles
Haven't we had this conversation? :P

Ramen-dan!
Dustybigmog on March 5th, 2007 07:37 am (UTC)
Re: Ramen = Noodles
Uhmmm I don't think so. Maybe it was that time I went to Treos I can't seem to remember.
Kyaa the Catlordkyaathecatlord on March 5th, 2007 07:40 am (UTC)
Re: Ramen = Noodles
*laugh* I think it was actually on Super Bowl Sunday, there was a Noodles there. :P

Douglas Triggsdoubt72 on March 5th, 2007 02:46 pm (UTC)
Re: Ramen = Noodles
Well, I don't care what they call it, as long as they have my dish.

Which isn't ramen, BTW. :-P
Allison Steinastein142 on March 5th, 2007 02:28 pm (UTC)
Oooo. Aaaahhhh. Preeetttyyyy.
asakiyume: cloud snowasakiyume on March 5th, 2007 02:38 pm (UTC)
Cool, cool pics. Seems like a lot of very hard work, but very, very rewarding. I feel for you, having to turn back before your destination--that happened to me on one hike and I still pine after doing it again (but the place is hard to get to, and life gets in the way...). So, I hope you do get there one day.

Plus, the fading-light effect is kind of scary. I wouldn't want to be caught up in the mountains after dark in the summer, generally speaking, let alone in the snow.

Douglas Triggs: garden2doubt72 on March 5th, 2007 02:49 pm (UTC)
Eh, I've got enough clothes in my backpack to make it through a blizzard, not to mention a headlamp, backup flashlight, and spare batteries. It would be annoying to hike out in the dark, but doable. Plus -- full moon!

I've made that hike all the way up in the summer before, I just wanted to do it on the snow. Given how warm it's been, I may not manage it this year -- I'm a bit worried about the lakes and such melting before I get a chance.
asakiyume: cloud snowasakiyume on March 6th, 2007 04:55 am (UTC)
Whereas, we're going back into the deep freeze over here--oh well, that's weather for you.