James Peak Wilderness, Oct 14 2012

Full image gallery (more pictures)

For my first snow hike of the season, I decided to go probe the aftermath of Xena the Warrier Princess up near the East Portal.  I’d never hiked up towards Clayton Lake and Iceberg Lakes, probably because there is no trail.  So, I decided to find out why and see if I could get up there to scope out how the first storm was loading in.

The drive up from Rollinsville usually offers good views of the Arapaho Lakes and Frosty Bowl. The snow cover below treeline was visible and pretty good for just one storm, but Frosty was lost in the clouds:

Within 15 minutes of heading off-trail, I spotted what I would later identify as fresh coyote tracks.  Must be a den nearby:

Near tree line the terrain started opening up:

Profile of a potentially nice ski slope:

Overview of the Iceberg Lakes basin:

Rime ice near treeline and the Iceberg / Crater ridge:

Crater Lakes:

Steeper drop into the Crater Lakes basin:

Looking down the run towards Iceberg:

Looking back up the run into Iceberg:

One of a couple of cliffy drops in the trees:

So, I’ll count this one as another successful effort to “fill-in-the-blanks” in some unknown terrain. I’ll be back when the snowpack is significant to try out the “wildcat” zone..




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