Tuesday, June 27, 2023

Snowmass Lake - June, 2023

Snowmass Mountain Peak from snowmass lake colorado


 Jimmy Brad and I had a perfect weather window where we fit in a hike to Snowmass Lake (and Snowmass Mountain for Brad) right at the summer solstice.  This one had been on my list of iconic Colorado backpacks for over a decade, and it did not disappoint.  This spring has been so rainy and one of the craziest weather seasons I can remember.  A couple days before our hike in to this lake, it snowed a couple inches at this location.  Though this was the first day of summer, it looks more like winter up there!

When we arrived at the lake, there was only one area that was snow free for campers to set up tents.  We had to get close with a few other groups, but everybody was friendly with no problems.  That night sleeping was miserable, being right next to the lake with the wind blasting over it all night was restless.  Brad woke and left for the Snowmass summit at 1:30 AM.  From about then until dawn, there were various parties getting up and getting ready to hike not too quietly so, again, sleep was not good.  Jimmy and I got up to watch a fantastic sunrise over the lake.  The clouds made cool shapes that contoured the edge of the peaks.  Though we didn't know it, right at about that time Brad was standing on the summit.  After having breakfast, we attempted to hike out and find the trail toward Buckskin Pass hoping to hike Buckskin Benchmark.  Unfortunately, the snow was continuous and became a post-holing slog.  After a few miles of this, combined with a trail we couldn't find, we decided to turn back to camp.   We arrived back there at 9AM just after Brad returned.  We all decided we had accomplished our goals for the trip, so we packed up and headed home instead of staying for a second night. 

Sunrise on Snowmass - Prints available

If you look closely, you can see people climbing up the snowfield

And some of Brad's pictures from his 14er hike:

Wednesday, June 14, 2023

Twin Sisters - June, 2023


Needed a warmup hike before our backpack to Snowmass Lake next week so I did a quick hike up 11er Twin Sisters Peak.  Tried out a new backpack and got some elevation in.  I took hwy 7 (peak to peak) on the way up:

Well... Road closed.  (photo taken with Cami's camera that I don't know how to use).  I took 36 instead.  Here's another photo of the rock slide from CBS news later that day:

Photo dump from the rest of the hike:

Longs, Meeker and Mt. Lady Washington

The Mummy Range

Lake Estes


Twins Sisters from back at the trailhead

Tuesday, June 13, 2023

Return to the Sand Dunes - Spring 2023

 The Great Sand Dunes are a special place.  It's a super unique national park that is in the middle of nowhere southern Colorado.  360 Sangre de Cristo mountain views and hundreds of miles of sand with no trails.  To get to the dunes, we started at the parking area and walked across Mediano Creek, which was cold on the first day and warm on the second day based on whether or not the sun was out.  

The kids have been to the dunes before, but Kolby was only a toddler and KD didn't even remember the experience being a 3 year old.   This time, we drove down there and didn't tell our kids that our family friends were going to meet us there.  It was a fun surprise when they showed up to our camping spot the first night.  The look on their face when they saw them was priceless.  We had a great time with the Coffins as we stayed at our parents "cabin" in the Spanish Peaks area the first night and then rented a cabin near the dunes on the second night. The kids (and adults) got to play in the creek and, believe it or not, all of the older kids made it to the top of High Dune, which was not an easy task!  The wind up there was intense.

Mediano Creek


Sunset on the Dunes