On Saturday, Mark and I donned our brand new mountaineering boots, our favorite snow shoes, and our best winter gear for a trek up to Emerald Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park.
We spent the morning getting everything together. Hopefully now that we’ve done a full-gear trek this season, it will go much faster next time. We didn’t leave the Bear Lake trailhead until about 12:30p. We hiked up the trail past Nymph Lake to Dream Lake where we stopped and put on our snow shoes. We were able to short-cut a good bit of trail by hiking straight across the lake, which was kind of creepy as the day was warm enough to melt a thin layer on top of the ice. But nothing cracked or creaked or moaned, and we made good time.
We arrived at Emerald Lake at just before 2p. While we passed a couple people on the way down, when we got to the high lake, we had the whole area to ourselves. The wind was coming and going. Occasionally it would blast us with ferocious spindrift, and then it would die down for several minutes of sunny peacefulness. The thermometer read 35F degrees, which is pretty warm, and with a 40mph wind only equates to a 20F degree windchill, so a balmy day by comparison to some.
Photos all around, and then we headed back down. We wore the snowshoes for traction the whole way down, and they helped quite a bit. We were back at the car around 3:30p, and Mark was not tired at all. He kept saying “That was it? Lame.” But it was a fun day, and a beautiful place. We’ll just have to make sure the next trek covers more miles!
The rest of the pictures from the day are in the photo album: Snowshoe to Emerald Lake.