Saturday, February 7, 2009

Chasm Lake

Despite our very late start this morning, we did get in a decent snowshoe adventure. At 3:15 we summited the saddle that overlooks Chasm Lake at the base of Longs Peak. See trek in Google Earth or Maps.

When we approached the last half mile or so, we were very weary about the weather. Low clouds were coming in over the area's peaks and snow was in the forecast. However, I convinced Dan that we should just go a little bit further to see the lake and what was visible of the famous Longs Peak Diamond. (Yes, that's right, I was the bad influence today! Usually, that's Dan's job.) Unfortunately, we didn't have enough daylight to make the .7 mile trip to the lake to complete our day's objective, but it was still worthwhile.

We selected the Chasm Lake trail because my brother Adam discovered it on his first full day in Colorado. Dan and I were both working so he took off for a drive, subsequent hike, and successful fishing trip. His pictures were just gorgeous and we always wanted to check it out for ourselves. Unfortunately, the colors were not nearly as vibrant today and the snow drifts slowed us down above the tree line.

All in all we hiked nearly 7 miles and gained 2150 feet in four and a half hours. We were going at a pretty good clip until we got above the trees and kept losing the trail (not that it would have helped). The coolest part of the day was definitely watching the clouds change on Longs and Mount Meeker. A close second, though, was taking the first 3.5 miles of the trail to Longs Peak. This is on the must-do list for this summer--a 15-mile, nearly 5000 ft gain adventure.

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