Sunday, April 3, 2011

Snow Camping & Hiking Rocky NP

It was crazy windy for the two days we were in Rocky NP last Wed & Thurs. We arrived at 6pm and thankfully decided to do a regular tent camp near the jeep rather than back country. The wind was shaking the heavy loaded jeep and there was snow everywhere. Cooking and eating in this wind was not pleasant. Must have been 35 mph. I kept chasing after the bowls, matches, bags, etc. Next day still windy, but we attempted to do a long 6 mile loop in the snow. We got a lost a few times; it was so hard to see the trail and following skiers does not mean that is a trail. So we did a simple small loop around Bear Lake. Wet tried to find a waterfall another trail, but again could not find the right trail.

Back at camp, we saw two wolves while we were in the jeep. Yikes. Windy again so had dinner in the jeep. Saw a tad bit of red sky behind the snow cap mts then the stars were out a night.

Next day we thought we could do a 6 mile regular hike at Deer Mt. Its a 10footer but we only hike about 1,000 elevation gain in 3 miles. The last .5 mile was a nightmare; we badly needed snow shoes. We kept sinking into the snow, which admittedly was fun the first few times, but it was so tiring pulling yourself up to just fall back down. We ended up crawling at some points to distribute our weight. Luckily, we met a couple with snow shoes so we were able to follow their tracks even though they got lost a few times. We would never have reached the summit without their tracks. Another lesson learned, talk to a ranger before attempting snow hikes to be better prepared.

Afterward we were headed to Ft Collins to see a friend of mine, Kelley. Before that we stopped at touristy, but pretty Estes Park for an awesome Nepal buffet lunch, which is very similar to Indian food
Click here for pix.

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