The Loch

Jerry and I hiked to the Loch. It was a relatively calm day near the divide, for a change. It was fairly warm, but the sky was nearly solid overcast. Again, we got a late start that was made even later due to another closure of highway 36. We didn’t hit the trail until about 11. But it’s a short hike, so no harm, no foul.

We took the winter route up – the fire trail to the junction, then up Icy Brook to the Loch. The ice on the lake is starting to get fairly rotten – crystallized and porous. We skirted along the south shore until the ice ended on the dry lake bottom. About a quarter of the lake’s summer surface area is dry right now; the lake is much shallower than I expected.

We found a place to set up the camera with some trees nearby to keep us out of the wind, should it arise (and it did, eventually). I normally have the camera pointing to a patch of sky above whatever dramatic peaks I’m nearby, but in this case I figured my best shot at getting any sort of interesting cloud action was to face it east. I’d have set up the SLR as well, but it was malfunctioning. On the way up, I tried to take some photos but, although the batteries are fully charged it wouldn’t do anything. Eventually, I took both battery packs out and swapped their location and I was back in business.

On the hike out, we decided to take the route past Alberta Falls. That turned out not to be the best choice, but so it goes. There was very little traffic this way, so the “beaten path” wasn’t very beaten. We weren’t using snow shoes, so we wanted a fair amount of traffic on the trail before us. The original plan was to follow the stream down (from the bridge on the North Longs Peak trail) to the falls, then take the trail from there. But it was soon obvious doing this with just micro spikes wouldn’t be the best choice. So we followed the footsteps on the summer trail.

The thing about following somebody else’s footprints is you’re assuming they knew what they were doing. There were several times I had my doubts. But every now and then we’d see some evidence that we were on the trail. In between these times, it seemed like the trail blazer was maliciously taking us on an excursion. It was all good, though, as we arrived at the falls to find a bunch of people sitting there enjoying the view of … the frozen falls. Not really much to look at when it’s frozen solid and covered with snow drifts.