Thursday, July 7, 2016

Lost Man Hike

Tuesday we hiked the Lost Man Trail, east of Aspen toward Independence Pass.  We had done this hike 3 years ago when we were here and wanted to do it again.  It's a lovely hike, starting at 10,500 ft. and peaking at 12,800 ft.  So the air is definitely thinner there.  It was a wonderful day in Aspen when we left--lots of blue sky, a few puffy white clouds but quite clear.  By the time we had driven to the trailhead, however, it began to cloud over, and it was much chillier than the town.  As we hiked, we truly saw the truth of the fast changing weather here--soon we had some rain, then hail, then back to warm sunshine, then back to cooler, with some brisk crosswinds.  Nevertheless it was a great hike.  We had Davi with us and he just loved all the snow that was still on the ground in lots of places.  He would flop down into the snow, eating mouthfuls and having a ball!  This hike has lots of open areas on either side of the trail, so he just loved being able to run around on either side of us as we hiked.  As usual, he would go up front with Trisha for a while, and then come back to check on me, to make sure all was okay with both of us.

There was a lot more snow this past winter than the winter before we were first here, a lot of it still on the ground.  It also made for much more muddy trails and marshy areas around the trail than we had remembered.  In fact, we could tell the difference in the melting snow from the time we started up the mountain until we returned.  Early on into the hike there's a creek you have to cross on a single log.  When we started out, the water was well under the log, but when we came back down, the water level had risen such that it was right at the log, all because of the snow melting in the day--very interesting!
Snow was also covering the trail in some places, especially on the way up the saddle, in one spot for about 50 yards or so.  I tried to follow the other footsteps, to keep from going down too deep.  Most of the time the footprints were about 8 to 10 inches deep, but one time I put my foot down and went down up to my knee!  But Davi loved it!

We stopped for lunch at Independence Lake, which was still frozen over in places.  After lunch I went on up another .6 mile up to a saddle, where you could see the continental divide, as well as Lost Man Lake down on the other side of the saddle.  Pretty cool to look down one way and see that lake, and then turn to look down the other side and see Independence Lake.  While I was on the way up to the saddle, a guy who looked to be in his 20's was running up the trail and passed me.  I spoke with him briefly at the top and then he headed on up to a higher pass.  After a few minutes another, older man came running up and, while he was catching his breath, he said "I thought my son was going to wait for me!"  Amazing!!  All in all another great hike!

On the way up
 Some of the beautiful wildflowers along the trail

 Davi, keeping an eye on Trisha as she made her way through the thick brush on one section of the trail.

 You can see the trail going up through all this lush green!
 Waterfall of snowmelt

 Love this picture!
 Davi playing in the snow!!

 Independence Lake

 Looking up toward the saddle
 Here's the Running Dude!
 Looking down on Lost Man Lake from the saddle
 Looking back the other way toward Independence Lake
 The snow crossing where I went down to my knee!
 It's always fascinating to see how different the views are when you're going down from what you noticed on the way up
 Just love the patterns of the shadows on the mountains and the valley

 Another snowmelt waterfall

 Just stunningly beautiful-green trees on gray rock against the blue sky!

 A little marmot, enjoying the afternoon sun!

No comments:

Post a Comment