ROCKSTAR hike!

Ro and I started out early – destination Isabelle Glacier.  Like the concept of playing it safe but 2 weeks from the Audubon strike, needed some altitude.  And who doesn’t want to see snow in August?  Come on.

Trailhead parking was already full at 730am, but alternative parking was less than a mile away.  Step out of the car, backpack up and think – dang it’s cool.  Check the temperature gauge – 52 degrees.  YES!  Pull on a fleece and off we go.

Long Lake, then a treeline hike through green valleys, tall pines, amazing mountain scapes, and random waterfalls. This is one of those days where I get super spiritual – sight, sound & smell are all firing competing endorphins.  It’s just so visually stunning, coupled with rushing water and crisp high altitude mountain air.  WOW moment!

Another mile & Lake Isabelle, mountain lake just under 11,000ft elevation fed by glacier runoff.  Blues, emerald greens, hugged between two 13er peaks, Mt Apache & Mt Shoshoni. End destination for many hikers (& their dogs) so let Ro socialize and get in a quick swim.

Once our trail hit rock, started watching for cairns.  One left where I should have went right.  ‘Nuf said.  Frustrating.  31 different unique hikes though haven’t allowed me to learn a particular trail well – but happily have been exposed to many many Colorado destinations this year.  Been logging hike mishaps mentally to guide me over my next 40 years 🙂

I can see our glacier destination, UP UP from the waterfall riverbed.  So…Ro & I do just that — start bouldering UP, thankfully not so much shale.  Put Ro on a retractable leash this week – gives him 20 feet of run (vs 6 on his rope leash) and allows me to carabiner clip to my pack, freeing up both hands while scaling rock.  I DID learn from Audubon.  UP, UP, we climb until I can see Mt Shoshoni peak on my horizon.  Stop for a bean burrito break and hear folks making noise on Isabelle Glacier – approx 1,000 feet & 3 glaciers below us.  ARGH!

I can 100% manage this – just a mental stretch after the strike.  Focus, take it slow and think through the down climb.

I let Sno Ro enjoy an August run at the first glacier.  To the top of this small glacier he darts, then purposely slides to the bottom. Up and down like an 8-year-old child.  Inspired by his love of life, found myself laughing out loud.

Second glacier was HUGE but icy from the summer sun. Additionally I notice it spills over a cliff — yeah, a cliff.  No play on this one – instead we scale laterally over rock until I spot a good exit to boulder down.  Rocks were weathered smooth so searched for crags and breaks to safely descend.  Back up, lateral over and down again.  It’s a process, no lie – and all with a dog – but success!  One gash on my left ankle but nothing like Audubon.  Sting [from cut] actually keeps one alert, human, more in the moment.

We see our first hikers again – on the other side of Isabelle Glacier.  Scale across the glacier and pick up a trail on the other side.

Back up – ‘scaled across a glacier’.  Yeah, my Colorado life ROCKS!

 

Sno Ro glacier slide (video short)

 

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2 Responses to hike #31: Isabelle Glacier & Lake Isabelle

  • Sarah says:

    Sounds like a fun day… I think if we ever go hiking… I’ll make sure I’m aware of the trails in the area!!! (though you always fun really cool stuff!) The weather looked like a perfect day for hiking… Sarah

    • KEENAN says:

      Agreed; counting on you for navigation. Not sure why I’m still so directionally challenged after 31 weeks of hikes. Argh. However — except for the lightning strike on Mt Audubon, everything has ultimately ended well; so no worries 🙂 Hope you are enjoying family time now. Loved one comment made to a recent post of your site:’Sealift delayed because of ice in the harbour’. In August? Yeah, I’m jealous — more than ready for snow again. Just trying to stay patient and enjoy all of our seasons — even the 3 warm months in the middle of the year 🙂

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