First off, this hike just killed me, as you'll see by start/end times. Many breaks taken along the way. Apparently my legs need a little more time to recover than a day in between Evans Peak and this (with a 30lb pack on this time).
Now, that aside, this was an absolutely brilliant hike, filled with multiple viewpoints and really getting samples of pretty much every type of terrain imaginable (especially after the rain/snow/ice rain over night). If there was one thing I would have changed, it was the number of people. There was rarely a five minute period where we weren't passing by someone. Not that it's a horrible thing and is definitely better for bear encounters, but I personally prefer trails that are a little less busy.
On the way up, we passed through a couple rock slides. This one in particular was a great spot for lunch.
Some great views all around as you get higher up.
Most of the trail is a steady incline with one flat'ish section as we got closer to the end. There's a pretty good scramble section just before you hit the lake, which was the last section before we reached our destination.
All told, there must have been close to 40 tents pitched up there. Lots of day hikers as well, which made for a really busy lake. Surprisingly, we were able to find a tent pad. Unfortunately, we didn't walk down to the lake first to check pads around there. There was one right beside the lake that would have been an incredible spot, but at that point neither of us wanted to tear down and build camp back up again. Next time, I'll take a look at the lake spots first. Incredible views all around. We took a walk up to the glacier on the far side of the lake (snow patches are well trodden, no spikes needed to the base of the glacier), took some time for pictures, got back to our tent, made dinner, relaxed a bit and called it a day.
It got REALLY cold over night. This was my first sub alpine overnighter and the cold and weather changes caught me a little by surprise. It also highlighted the fact that my layering system needed some work. Thankfully we both had sub-zero bags and good mats, so warmed up fairly well midway through the night.
Learnings this time around:
- BP lasagna isn't very good. Like, at all
- Recovery time is a Good Thing.
- Have a completely dry layer set for after all hiking and exploring (I bought a puffy shortly thereafter for exactly this: https://www.backcountry.com/the-nort...wn-jacket-mens
- Never, ever leave shell pants at home figuring you're not going to need them because the weather report says things should be clear. Things change up there really fast. Bring All The Things that will keep you dry (thankfully I brought my jacket, but definitely regretted not bringing my pants the next morning)
- If you don't have a Buff, you probably should. They're great (although I have yet to test mine)