TOG and I have been dying to hike in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness, but the snow pack was so deep this year, that many great hikes are still not accessible even in July. On Saturday, we read the trip reports and thought we might have a shot. Our hope was to find some alpine flowers to admire, not necessarily getting to a lake or a ridge which is usually the goal.
As we got to a trail head, we found the following:
We didn't know how much snow might be on the trail, but since we didn't have a goal of going the distance, we thought we'd give it a try. Maddie was very curious about the snow, but not opposed to hiking across small patches!
The views on the trail were amazing with shots of the peaks all around us.
I love this shot of Red Mountain! TOG thought it looked like we were hiking in the Alps!
One of the best things about hiking during melt off is the beautiful waterfalls! On this hike however, it presented some unique opportunities....
This waterfall fell directly onto the trail! This is where you hike! Saturday was probably around 87 degrees, so tiptoeing through a waterfall felt great with the spray hitting your legs!
This waterfall was higher up, and as you can see, Maddie was unconvinced. (she was carried by TOG through all the waterfalls!) This part of the falls was so pretty, I hiked down to get a better shot of the whole thing....
At this point, I stopped taking pictures. Had we completed the route to the peak, we would have gained some 2700 feet and been around 5400 feet. I think we made it to about 5000 feet. Unfortunately, we ran into quite a bit of snow. Some of the snow fields were large enough that we lost the trail and had to scout for it. Eventually, we were climbing onto snow fields that were 4-5 feet high with only hiking boots and mountain poles. Finally, as I was leading across one and telling TOG that everything ahead on the trail looked even worse, my left foot slipped. The top of the snow was getting wet from the heat of the day, and harder to walk on. As I planted my right foot, the ankle rolled all the way under, and that was the end of the hike.
We were about 5 miles from the trail head and all we could do was tighten my boot and walk down. On the way down we saw another party that had a woman with a sprained ankle. I think hers was worse than mine. It was 7PM before we even made it back to the truck.
The best news however was that my lungs were awesome! Yeah, they needed some medicating along the trail, but considering this trail was a 4 out of 5 difficulty, they did great!
So what did you do this weekend? Asthmagirl wants to know!