Trip Report (Part 2)
Posted 13 August 2007 - 03:31 PM
Here is a my Rocky Trip Report, Part 2
Morning comes early on Boulderfield. The first day hikers arrived just before 5 a.m. I had tried to get up at 4 to get photos of the Diamond, but it was just a mass of clouds. By 5 it was grey and foreboding, but the clouds were moving in a stiff breeze—so hope lingered. We ate breakfast and hoped for a break in the weather. Rain and stopped and the other campers on the field were beginning to stir. Particularly one fellow who was searching for his shoes (actually just a shoe) Seems he had left it outside his tent and someone had run off with it during the night. (I will assume that it was Marvin aka Marvin Marmot who was the guilty party-he had that look on his face a he lay contentedly on his rock amusing himself with people watching.) We decided to head for the Keyhole and then make a decision on attempting the summit or not. The weather did not look too promising. I walked ahead to get some pictures of Larry and Marcy as they climbed to the Keyhole. Temperatures were not too cold and the wind had died down as I hastened over the boulders. When I got to the Keyhole the view to the west was dreadful. Dark clouds drifted over the nearby mountains often completely blocking the view. I waited nearly an hour for both Larry and Marcy to arrive. By the time they made it (and I had my pictures) the wind had picked up and the temperature was dropping. Stiff blasts of icey wind shot through the Keyhole driving the majority of the climbers into Agnes’ house for shelter (it gets crowded with 18people inside) We decided to wait for up to an hour before making final decisions. A few hikers declared “weather be damned’ and headed for the peak. When I poked a nose out of the hut and climbed back to the crest I was greeting with the view in the picture below. At that point, due to Marcy’s increasingly slow progress and the weather coming from the west we aborted plans for the summit. And began to head down. By the time we had arrived at the tent corrals the rains had once again begun in earnest. The rest of the day consisted of packing and heading back down the mountain. I encountered several Pika scampering about the rocks gathering their “hay”. Also saw a weasel (with 4 legs---not our beloved member) trying his best to secure lunch. From what I saw---he was not successful. The rains continued pounding us all the way down to the Pine Forest below. Please check out the shot of Marcy below that I took as she walked through the clouds. By the time we reached the bridge the rain had stopped. (Have I mentioned how much I LOVE my Columbia raingear?????) I stopped for photos of trees and cascades while Larry and Marcy continued on to Goblin’s Forest. By the time I arrived they had set up their tent and were sitting and relaxing on logs. I dropped my pack, and started to set up the tent----and it poured again. We had lots of thunder, (it sounded neat echoing off the nearby rock walls) and a few severe shots of lightening which certainly lit up everything. By 7 p.m. the rain had diminished to just a torrent. Larry and Marcy remained in their tent—I cooked dinner—I was hungry and I did have my rain gear ;-).
It rained all night and much of the campsite was flooded. I went to sleep to the pleasant drumming of raindrops on the tent fly. My campsite lullabye. Note – drainage at the site straight down the entry trail is really poor. I suggest the sites to the left as you enter the campsite if you like high and dry. We were dry in the tents as my favorite plastic trick once again saved the day (or in this case the night.) Just for the record, the owl returned about 3 a.m. (it was a Great Horned Owl not a Hoot owl).
Side bar note. Why are some hikers soooooo thoughtless??? While descending from Longs we passed a family of hikers—Mom, Dad, two youngsters (about 8-9) and the 9 month old baby that dad was caring in a back pack made for babies. The rain was crashing down everywhere and not a single one of the group and any kind of weather protection. All were wearing tee-shirts—including the baby—who was soaked. I gave them a plastic bag for the baby since that was all I had and a dry tee shirt (Ok so it was a bit large---but it was dry) They were at least 2 hours from shelter when I passed them----what were they thinking taking that baby out there on a day like that???
View Through the Keyhole
Marcy in the mists
More to follow…
Posted 13 August 2007 - 04:19 PM
Posted 13 August 2007 - 06:40 PM
Posted 13 August 2007 - 07:01 PM
Posted 14 August 2007 - 10:48 AM
Thanks for the great trip report. My apologies as well that the weather didn't cooperate for you. That picture of Marcy in the fog is a great one.
Posted 14 August 2007 - 08:43 PM
I'll be sharing these with reports as I get them ready.
sorry but the first few days just started out soggy---but that is part of the adventure and I don;t regret a moment of it. It all makes for the total "Experience" and the thrill of being there and not home sitting on a couch. dont get me wrong---I like blue skies--but I love to hike in the rain and listen to the sound of it. It is all part of the Rocky that I love.
Posted 14 August 2007 - 09:20 PM
And it's definitely not a good sign when you leave somebody behind at the Boulderfield campsite, and are an hour ahead when you get to the keyhole, or blowhole, as it turned out to be for you. 18 bodies in Agnes's house? sheesh.
Posted 15 August 2007 - 07:08 AM
Neat pics too. I'll be watching out for your others.
Posted 15 August 2007 - 07:35 AM
Posted 15 August 2007 - 07:45 AM
Posted 15 August 2007 - 09:57 AM
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