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Showing posts from November, 2010

Mt. Yale Hike (October 2010)

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I haven't posted any 14er hikes this year, so here's one. Three of us hiked up Mt. Yale, about 10 miles west of Buena Vista, Colorado, in early-mid October. It is one of the collegiate peaks in the Sawatch Range. At 14,196 it is the 21st highest mountain in Colorado. Colorado did not get much rain this summer, but in October the skies started to open up. The mountains had a nice dusting of snow making for some nice views when we were there. We started at the Denny Creek Trailhead and went up the Southwest Slopes - the standard route. The trail roughly follows Denny Creek until the one turn we had to make. There the trail got a little bit steeper. The further in we went, the steeper the trail got. Near treeline we started going though the snow. It never got more than a few inches deep. A GPS track of the route helped out where we couldn't see were the trail went. There is a reroute on the trail starting just below tree line, but with the snow it was hard to follow and we en…

Crater Lakes Hike (October 2010)

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This hike was to the same location as the last one in my last blog. The difference was, there was no snow, so we stayed on the trail and after the middle lakes we went up and did not visit the first one. We started on South Boulder Creek Trail and turned onto Crater Lakes Trail. There is a sign at the junction. The trail to Crater Lakes was a bit steeper than the South Boulder Creek Trail. The trail took us to the northern middle lake first. (On the snowshoeing trip we went to the southern one first.) Moffat Tunnel passes under this lake.

 Crater Lake #2 North
The other is close, only separated by a small ridge (about 20 ft high).

 Crater Lake #2 South
After taking a short break we went west and took the trail that curved along the west end of the northern lake. It turned west and started climbing up to the upper lakes. On the way up, there were great views of the two lakes we were just at.

View of the Two Middle Lakes from the Climb Up to the High Ones
The next lake is the smallest one.

Crater Lakes Snowshoeing (March 2007)

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The Crater Lakes are in the James Peak Wilderness, southwest of Boulder. The closest trailhead is at the East Portal of Moffat Tunnel (usually called just East Portal). This area usually has a good snowpack in the winter. The main trail through this area, South Boulder Creek trail, is usually packed down. The lakes we went to are off the main trail. The hike up to the lakes and back to the main trail was probably some of the roughest snowshoeing I have ever done.

We started going up the South Boulder Creek Trail. In some sections the packed trail does not follow the actual trail, including where the turn for Crater Lakes was. Once we realized we had passed the Crater Lakes Trail, we followed some ski tracks going towards the lakes. There was no broken trail to the lakes. It was hard going through some snowdrifts and we followed tracks when we saw them. We ended up at the two middle lakes first.

Crater Lake #2 South
Blown Snow Crust on Crater #2 South

I walked out on the lake and checked…