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Ouzel Backpacking

It occurred to us  the other day, that for some reason we haven’t been backpacking once yet in Colorado!  Clearly this was unacceptable, so Kelly picked out a nice warm-up outing so we could get our backpacking legs under us for the season.  We booked a spot at Ouzel Lake, which has an upper and lower site.   The lower spots were filled so we settled for the upper sites.  The upper site is a tad farther from the trail-head, though in either case the whole walk would have been roughly 10 miles round trip.  Would have been…

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Flash! Thunder!

Similarly spectacular, but an order of magnitude more perilous, hike number two is in the books for Brian and Kelly in Colorado: Season 2.  Objective hazards don’t really eat at me all that much.  A long climb in no-fall terrain, for example is cut and dry: be careful and don’t fall.  Or storm skiing in the backcountry: stay off the steep slopes or anything attached to a steep slope.  Risk mitigated.  It’s the stuff that you really have no control over – no effective means of mitigation – that freaks me out.

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The Loch

Hinge season in Colorado Rockies!  Honestly, I usually have a tough time with the end of winter, but between the great hiking conditions and steep skiing opportunities, there’s not much to complain about.

A couple weeks ago Kelly and I shot up to RMNP for a casual hike out to the Loch.  You depart from the Glacier Gorge trailhead off of Bear Lake road and follow a moderately ascending trail past numerous stunning vistas. Herein lies the magic of hiking in these parts: in New England (what I’m used to, and my point of reference for much mountain-sport), grand and sweeping views are usually only had at the top of a mountain. Out here, with the relatively thin foliage and close proximity to treeline, you quickly find yourself in the realm of the breathtaking. Thus, a casual stroll uphill terminating nowhere near the summit of anything can easily result in scenes worthy of Ansel Adams’ attention. It’s almost too easy!

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