Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Fat Biking Christmas

With the recent snows, many of the lower bike trails close often due to mud. Skiing is on, but expensive and takes the whole day.

The local bike shop said "give Fat Biking a try" so I did. All in I bought a used bike, after I found one with acceptable specs, 4.5" tires are wanted for the fun aspect, otherwize you sink into the snow too much. 

On the other hand the snow also needs to be packed a little to be possible. I turned around at this point. I was pretty lost anyway.

Peaceful valley has left an impression on me. It's beautiful up there. Note I have also left a few impressions on it too ;) It's taken about 3 rides to know the right gear to wear and how to stay upright more. 

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Dream Lake

We went up to Bear lake in Rocky Mountain National Park since it was a nice day and we'd failed to find parking on the prior two attempts to visit.

Bear Lake is pretty much right next to the car park. But the view of Little Matterhorn mountain is pretty outstanding. Frozen Lakes are still a novelty for me.

As are frozen waterfalls. We continued our walk up to Dream Lake.

Just 500 feet higher but shaded and in a wind tunnel, this lake had a totally different feel. 

Pretty close to 10k feet

I think that may be Longs peak and Storm peak in the background.

Maddy is starting to get pretty good with the camera.

Halfway between Bear and Dream lake is Nymph lake, would be fun to try ice skate on one. I've no idea how the lumps would effect the skating, no Zambonis up here.

Sunday, December 8, 2019

Gem Lake

This trail caught my attention on the REI hiking project site . With Rocky Mountain National Park, National Forest, Larimer open space, Boulder open space, preserves and State parks - It is a challenge to know what one can do where (and when) and this website seems to have the best information.

Beautiful day :)

Lots of good rocks to scramble about on.

I first spied this collection of rocks from Rocky Mountain national park in the summer. From a distance it looks like a big version of the Pinnacles, pretty similar from close up too.

Nice view south across Estes Park (above). Fun walking through Aspens in the snow. 

Cool 2 foot hole in granite.

This would be even more spectacular in the fall colour change.

Next trip we will bring crampons ;)

Looking west toward Trail Ridge.

Gem Lake is nested at ~8850ft in what is almost a hanging Gorge. Plenty of ice there at the moment.  

The lake is frozen solid. Not knowing how thick the ice was we stayed at the shallow end, but I'm pretty sure at was at least 6 inches thick.

In coming weather, time to get down.

Yup, crampons next time.

more cool rocks.

By the time we got down, the flurry had some big flakes.

Always neat to see some Elk.

Thursday, November 28, 2019


It hadn't finished snowing at this point but we were on our way to 26" snow in 14 hours !

Some 6 person picnic benches with three future snowmen sat at them ;)

It was difficult to walk and sled in the snow at this point.

The regular foot trail into town. 

Perhaps not the perfect ski hill, but it's close to the house ;) never mind the fire hydrant and road at the bottom.

Of course Maddy liked the jump. Most landings worked out great hahaha.

There were some others... but everything ended in maniacal laughter.

I took a few runs myself.

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Kruger Peak

So many great hikes here but this one really shone through. Perhaps the combo of company, weather, scenery, terrain and geology.

Maybe the level of expectation was set to Ummmm? With two 5 year olds and a heavy first snow just prior, what would we find ?

Well, we got lucky! Spectacular day!

Maddy and Viv did great, egging each other on up the mountain.

Almost there and still keen. The rocky outcropping is the Kruger peak.

Longs peak suck through the clouds a couple of times just before a few snow flurries set across the valley.

The last scramble up is like a secret passage, and what young kid doesn't love a secret passage ?

The view up top is special in all directions.

North-West toward the "Needles" above Estes Park. Rocky Mountain National Park in the background.

South-West toward Longs and Meeker Peak, and Back down we headed chased by some snow that did no more than threaten. Mustn't forget the Cherry Pie restaurant in Pinewood springs. Note to self : mountain bike trail through Hermit park looked pretty darn awesome at least where we crossed it, check that later !