8-31-06 Hike to Boulderfield Campsite
Posted 07 September 2006 - 12:56 PM
The trail starts out looking like pretty much any other trail I hiked at RMNP. Tall trees and a trail that has many upward switchbacks. I came to the Goblins Forest campground much sooner than I expected. The trees in that area were definitely interesting.
When getting close to treeline the trail crosses a creek (don't know which one) coming down the mountain and I got my first warning about lightning, which, along with bears was another subject of paranoia for me on this trip.
As I reached treeline 3 day hikers came crusing past me. I began to wonder if I was really slow or if they were really fast. Also, as I approached treeline, I noticed some dark, stormy looking clouds in the area. Luckily, they didn't do any storming until after they had passed me. The most inspiring thing, however, was to see Longs Peak from the trail for the first time.
It's really nice when you can see your ultimate goal while you hike. It puts a little extra spring in your step, which I needed .
Posted 07 September 2006 - 01:41 PM
It seemed like it was taking forever to reach the junction with the trail that goes to Chasm Lake. It didn't look that far, but it seemed like it was taking a while to get there. During this stretch of trail I observed a couple marmots playing tag among the rocks. That was the first time I've ever seen any marmots, so that was cool.
I finally reached the junction with the Chasm Lake trail. The sky had cleared and it was a really beautiful day.
I thought I was getting really close the Boulderfield, but I found out that I actually had quite a ways to go from a hiker coming down. As I approached the pass whose name I can't remember, more clouds began to move in so I quickened my pace. As I was hiking I began to think ironically about the Boulderfield. It appeared to me that I had bee hiking through boulderfields since I'd been above treeline. I mean, there were very large, wide, open fields... with... boulders... lots of them. I began to wonder what the real Boulderfield was going to look like... the Moon?
Anyways... to expedite things, I won't go into every detail from here on out, but from this point the hike to the Boulderfield presented excellent views at every turn. Every time I looked around me I could see for miles and it was just a really incredible experience.
View from the trail
Posted 07 September 2006 - 02:16 PM
Longs from the approach to the Boulderfield
First view of the Keyhole
With Longs in the background
The outhouses and the approaching storm
Now I could see that a storm was coming right at me so I cooked some food and then huddled down in my tent to write a letter to my girlfriend (who I really was missing at this point) and read a book. The thunderstorm passed through which rain, hail and some really loud (and close) thunder, which was sort of scary. But luckily, I survived.
After the storm passed I came out and realized that I was the only person camping in the Boulderfield (the next night all 9 sites were filled) which made it a a little lonely on the mountain, but also provided some nice solitude. You know, I don't think I've ever felt closer to God .
Edited by ProfHall, 07 September 2006 - 02:42 PM.
Posted 07 September 2006 - 02:18 PM
Seriously, though, it was a neat experience to talk to the Creator while being amazed at all of His creation that was around me - Longs Peak, the Keyhole, the mountains in the distance, even the rugged expanse of the Boulderfield... It was cool.
The night at the Boulderfield wasn't as bad as I expected. It was pretty windy, but I was comfortable in my 25 degree bag with a few extra layers on. The Boulderfield wasn't what I would describe as beautiful, like Mills Lake beautiful, but it was an interesting place and I'm glad I camped there.
I'll do a report of my Longs Peak summit as soon as I can. Hope you enjoy...
Posted 07 September 2006 - 03:12 PM
Posted 07 September 2006 - 03:38 PM
Posted 07 September 2006 - 03:48 PM
Posted 07 September 2006 - 03:53 PM
Posted 07 September 2006 - 04:26 PM
I've enjoyed all your reports, and last night I went back and read your original posts where you thinking about bushwacking in the Mummy Range and people were giving you warnings and advice. Are you glad you changed your plans?
Can't wait to read the rest of your trip reports.
Posted 07 September 2006 - 04:58 PM
Yeah, I'm glad I changed my plans from what I originally was going to do. The advice and warnings of the people on this forum turned out to be really valuable. The only regret I have is that I didn't do the Chapin, Chiquita, Ypsilon day hike as I planned. I scheduled that for Wednesday the 30th, between the Black/Frozen Lakes and Boulderfield hikes. I got back from spending a couple days in the backcountry on that Tuesday afternoon and I was pretty fatigued. That night I stayed up pretty late on the phone and I overslept on Wednesday morning. I was hoping to be awake by 6:30 or so and I didn't wake up until around 10:00, which was probably too late to do the CCY hike.
That day I drove around on Trail Ridge Road and a few other roads around the park and took pictures. I really wish I could've done the CCY hike. The next time I'm in the area I'm definitely going to do that hike. The pictures I've seen of that area are just awesome.
Posted 07 September 2006 - 05:12 PM
Posted 07 September 2006 - 08:26 PM
Posted 07 September 2006 - 09:07 PM
You have a really cool way of writing about your feelings on your trips, especially about feeling close to God at the Boulderfield. How awesome, and thanks for sharing that with us. There is a song called "Awesome God" that I had going through my head several times last week on our trip.
I admire you for being alone at the Boulderfield---I like solitude, but sometimes it's nice to have a few other friendly faces around!
Looking forward to your summit report, too!
Posted 07 September 2006 - 09:23 PM
Posted 08 September 2006 - 05:20 AM
Posted 08 September 2006 - 07:11 AM
Can't wait to see your summit report.
Posted 08 September 2006 - 08:42 AM
Posted 08 September 2006 - 08:57 AM
Thanks for taking the time to write all of these reports.
Posted 08 September 2006 - 09:02 AM
Posted 08 September 2006 - 09:23 AM
Ha, that's true. I didn't have any bear scaredness in me that night. You do, however, have to worry about little furry creatures that break into your tent . More on that later...
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