Last year I went snowshoeing with a coworker on the Long's Peak Trail in the RMNP. We kept it fairly short, just going up to treeline and back. I decided that I wanted to go back and see more of the trail, so yesterday I set out for Chasm Lake.
The weather was pretty good, being neither too windy nor too cold, but it was overcast with a light snowfall. Visibility was very poor. There was plenty of snow on the trail, but it was packed down pretty hard, so I left my snowshoes in the truck and strapped on my new MICROspikes - a kind of light-duty crampon.
They worked very well on the trail, providing plenty of traction without the added weight or bulk of snowshoes. The pictures above were taken at the end of the hike. I didn't experience any accumulation of snow on the spikes.
The trail was pretty quiet on Monday. I only saw two people while I was out there, though there was evidence of a third. I stopped and chatted for a while with the couple I saw. This was at the point where the winter trail splits off from the main trail to follow a stream uphill to treeline. From there I followed the main trail.
The funny thing about hiking in the snow is that, once beyond treeline, it becomes exceedingly difficult to tell where the trail is. I strayed from the path a number of times, finding myself in snow that wasn't packed as solidly. Without snowshoes, my feet were stove-piping in drifts that came up to my hips.
|Thigh-deep in snow|
|Back on the trail near Battle Mountain|
View 1/16/12 9:29 AM in a larger map
Once I got back to the parking lot, I got a decent view of Twin Sisters where I'd gone hiking a couple of weeks ago.
|View of Twin Sisters from the Long's Peak parking lot|