Originally, I had planned on leading a Colorado Mountain Club trip up Atlantic Peak, however the avalanche danger with all the recent snowfall, made for unsafe conditions, and according to the Colorado Avalanche Information Center- High risk.
There have been around 20 deaths associated with avalanches in the last month, and I decided that our group did not need to be among those numbers.
So, I changed the location to the Tarryall Range, “Lake Park Peak” 11,403′. This little know peak is part of the Tarryall Massif, and is a 10 mile RT 3,000 ft of gain peak, which is comparable to Atlantic Peak. I figured since we were unable to snag a centennial, we might as well get a good work out!
We arrived at the trailhead around 8AM, and grabbed our packs, half of us decided to leave our snowshoes in the car. I know, it sounds crazy for winter BUT mind you the last three years I’ve hiked down in the Lost Creek Wilderness in February, it has been bone dry.
Boy was I wrong. The snow ended up being far deeper than I had intended, though the first few miles were not too deep- it got worse as I ascended.
Half of our group wore snowshoes, and the other half did not.
At 2.5 miles, two of the members of our party decided to turn back, however the snowshoed half of the group was WAY far ahead, so I attempted to chase them down.
I caught up with them at the top of the pass, 2 miles later–they decided to continue up the trail for another half an hour. Fred and myself( the last two from our group with no snowshoes), made an attempt to follow them, however we postholed thigh high, and decided to wait for them at the pass.
Once they arrived back at the pass, we continued the last 4.5 miles to the trailhead.
On our way back, however we had a moment of “OH SHIT”– Fred’s car, almost ran out of gas….we though we could make it to Jefferson- only to find out that they had no more gas. It was another 20 miles to Bailey, CO– so we were essentially running on good vibes… WE MADE IT!
Once I arrived home, I realized a hunger so fierce, that it i didn’t eat soon, start to gnaw my arm off. I couldn’t even wait to make something, so I walked across the street to one of the pizza places, and ordered a calzone.
It was 8″ long and 3″ high, filled with gooey cheesy, vegetably goodness….and I ate the ENTIRE thing, which is very much unlike me.
It was amazing. I’m not sure I’ve ever enjoyed a meal so much.
Can’t wait for the next trip!