I went out on a snowshoe hike again to try and complete my hike up to Dream Lake and possibly beyond.
I called Friday to check the conditions. It was to be about 20 degrees warmer overall (last weekend it was around 1 degree with a high of around 20) and the snow was a bit harder and no new snow since last week. I asked about snowshoes. He said he used some traction straps on his shoes to avoid slipping off anywhere but snowshoes would work fine too. I dressed a little lighter (no long johns) and headed on out.
Understanding the crowds now, I left an hour later than the previous Saturday. When I got there, there were a good 20 or so vehicles in place. Plus since the week had been warmer, there was less snow and ice on the road. I could almost make it up on the bike if I wanted to 🙂
This time I was heading straight up to Dream Lake and decided to grab a picture of the map before I continued on.
The hike up to Nymph Lake was actually pretty easy. I did stop often and about half way up I removed my gloves. I pretty much didn’t wear gloves from then on as it was getting so warm. It’s a half mile hike up to Nymph Lake which is a piece of cake normally but a tad harder when you’re on snowshoes.
It is a pretty day though 🙂
I actually had to check the camera to see about where the trail was. Since everything’s covered in snow, it’s not particularly easy to know for sure where to head. There were a couple of guys ahead of me so after checking the map, I headed off to follow. It was a quick rise in elevation but the view was pretty good.
In looking at the lake below, the entrance to this path is at the top part of the lake there with the line across it. The way back to the parking lot is along the far edge of the lake and to the right.
This is a look ahead.
This is a turn to the left and a look to the left. A bit farther to the left is Nymph Lake (and down a bit).
And looking back to where I took the picture overlooking Nymph Lake
I’m continuing on to Dream Lake (if that wasn’t obvious of course 🙂 ). The hike is about the same distance as the one from the parking lot to Nymph Lake and a little steeper. I am seeing other folks on the trail, in some cases they’re passing me when I stop for a break 🙂
This is Dream Lake. A nice little 1.1 mile hike and a nice lake and view. There were 2 or 3 folks out taking pictures. The ice was pretty thick, although none were really testing that theory. Way over on the other side of the lake is the trail up to Emerald Lake. I thought I’d give that a go as well, partly because I couldn’t figure out where the next trail was in order to continue around on the loop. The loop is the next objective (plus seeing the other lakes).
I get to where I think the entrance to the next path is and it’s not super clear. There are a few footprints but I would have expected to see more. Eventually I start up but the tracks shortly turn right and hook up with the correct trail.
Looking back towards the lake on the correct trail (or at least a more correct trail).
Now that I’m on the correct trail, or at least a more correct trail, I hike on up and the discover that at least for part of the hike, I’m following the frozen creek.
The correct trail appears to be this way:
A short hike gets me to here:
About here was where a couple of guys with ice climbing gear passed me as I paused. One guy had a helmet and both had crossed ice axes on their backpacks.
This is just before Emerald Lake
And I’m now at Emerald Lake
The two spots way off on the other side of the lake are the two guys who are ice climbing and who passed me a couple of pictures back.
Nice view of the mountain.
The fun part is going back is much easier. I actually need to be careful at a couple of spots and almost took a header down the spot where the two guys passed me. It wasn’t long before I made it back to Dream Lake
Looking down at the ice, you can see it’s pretty thick
I’m actually a little bit out on the lake itself. The ice is pretty thick and fits the little mnemonic “Thick and blue, tried and true; Thin and crispy, way too risky.” as being thick enough if you’re careful.
These rocks are surrounded by ice, which would be water in warmer months.
I wasn’t sure about going out on this but there were a couple of guys on the ice and it looked like it was frozen all the way to the bottom. Cool pressure ridges though of the wind blowing across the lake as it froze.
And heading back down the path to Nymph Lake. There was a couple on the lookout so I didn’t stop again. I was stopped a few times by folks coming up asking whether the snowshoes were necessary and if there was more snow above.
The last walk down to Nymph Lake.
And finally back to the parking lot. I was the last vehicle parking this morning. Looking at the line of vehicles on the right, I’m the 6th or 7th vehicle, the white pickup with a darker piece under the tailgate latch than the one two vehicles down from me.
And that’s it for this trip. I’ll be heading off again in a couple of weeks to try the loop.