Before I started this blog I had been posting trip reports to a forum for lovers of Rocky Mountain National Park. This is one of those reports, with only minor edits for clarity.
Hike date: 14 July 2012 — Originally posted: 16 July 2012 – 09:40 AMEd and I hiked to Frozen Lake on Saturday. The weather in the morning was quite nice but by the time we arrived at the lake storm clouds were promising a damp afternoon. We got sprinkled on a bit at the lake, then off and on until we got back down to Black Lake, where sprinkles turned into about an hour of rain.
Getting to Frozen Lake means I’ve now visited all 8 lakes in Glacier Gorge. Not a rare accomplishment, by any means, but satisfying nonetheless.
[An area between Black Lake and Mills Lake was hit by a micro-burst in late autumn of 2011. I first hiked through there in March of 2012.] The blown down area is much larger than I remember from when Ihiked to Black Lake back on St. Patrick’s day.
I’m guessing it’s perhaps a mile long. A bit hard to tell the full extent of the damage as the dead trees are still fairly green. Many of the downed trees still have sizable chunks of earth attached to the roots. I’d say “root ball” but that overstates the amount of soil. More like “root disk” as many of these are only a few inches thick. In some cases, a six or eight foot section of the trail is now standing vertical next to bare rock.
Clearly, many hours were spent cutting trees from the trail. Also, clearly, trees are still falling over. as there are a couple of places where trees are blocking the trail. The downed trees aren’t uniformlypointing the same direction; many trees survived the initial winds but have been knocked over subsequently.
There was quite a bit of traffic to and from Frozen Lake. We took a short break when we arrived at Black Lake and within a few minutes there were more than a dozen people with us. Later, we chatted with several groups of climbers who summited the Spearpoint. And one couple recognized Ed. They had run into him on an earlier hike.
When we got to the top of the climb above Black Lake, we ran into a hiker coming down from Frozen. He went up closer to the Spearhead but descended
farther to the west and recommended this route as somewhat easier. We followed his suggestion. I have no basis for comparison, so I can’t say for sure it was an easier way, but on the way down we did get down quite a bit faster than two pairs of climbers who went the other way.
Here’s the time lapse. Cloud motion here is subtle compared to most of the others I’ve done. It starts to sprinkle half way through and you can see the raindrops hit the lens, then dry out.