Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Montrose and Ice Lakes

So....I'm just now getting around to publishing this, even though this was at the end of July. This past summer we took a fortuitous trip. A co-Peace Corps volunteer friend of mine and his family (I have also been friends with his wife since the 90's) were moving back to the States. They were staying with his parents in Montrose for a few weeks before heading to DC. I hadn't seen them in almost 15 years, so we drove down for a few-hours visit.

Also fortuitous because there is a hike a few hours further that I'd found out about a number of years ago and said, "If I'm ever down there in the summer..." (because we're always down that way in the winter for our annual ice climbing trip, but this is not a winter hike).

This guy was our pacesetter for the first half or so of the trail, which was a total of 7 miles. And believe me, it's one of the most straight-up trails we've ever hiked. The poor guy developed blisters almost right away, and, despite some complaining (much less than I would have had I been hiking with blisters), he was a total trooper and just keep going.

Of all the places I've been in CO, this was hands down the most beautiful.

Though the mosquitoes, something I've almost never encountered in CO, were almost unbearable for a while.

The views and waterfalls and lakes were amazing.

Flowers were this high and everywhere.

Vistas that pictures cannot do justice to.


Unfortunately, clouds were rolling in as we reached "the top." There were two other lakes up there that we decided not to hike to, even though, if weather was rolling in, we wouldn't escape unscathed.

Look at this gorgeous view! The colors of the rocks, the grass and flowers, and the water were all so different - it looked other-worldly.

Did I mention it was windy? And cold. We ended up at over 13,000 feet, having gained over 2,400 feet in the span of 2.5 miles. It is not a hike for the faint of heart.

Here is J, showing that he is not faint of heart. This is his victory stance, well posed after hiking so far with blisters.

I heard the marmot call before I saw him.

We did not get hit by weather until about a mile from the base, and then got caught in a torrential downpour that included hail. We were all completely soaked, freezing, and muddy by the time we arrived at the car.

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