Saturday, June 25, 2011

Woodland Lake

Today we took a very long hike to Woodland Lake. We started at the Hessie trailhead before 7:00 this morning. The first few miles were very pretty and peaceful. Then, as we gained a bit of elevation, we also gained a whole lot of snow. That's right, it's almost July and above 10,300 there were still FEET of snow. Of course it didn't help that it was 70+ degrees, so the snow was getting soft and proved difficult to hike. The going was really slow as there was no way we could stay on trail (what trail?), and we had to keep weaving in and out of trees and rocks to try to stay on the most solid snow.

We finally got to the lake 4.5 hours after we started--and it was only 5 miles away. Our original intent was to climb a glacier (snow field) to the summit of Skyscraper Peak, but by the time we got to the lake (the base of the climb) we were both too tired and frustrated to continue. Plus, it was getting late in the day to be above the treeline. So, after a nice lunch, we navigated back down the snow. Snowshoes proved to be more trouble than they were worth, so we ended up postholing quite a bit. I have to say, throughout the day it was amazing to see all the creeks flowing with such rampant force--and SO much water!

Anyway, we finally got back down 2.75 hours later. Once we got back to the less-snowy section we started running into A LOT of hikers and a few backpackers. It was a great sunny day to be out in the mountains.

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