Thursday, June 30, 2016

Duck Lake, Uinta Mountains- 6.24/25/26.2016

I finally made it out to the Uintas this year. We have had to wait because the snow was melting off really slowly with how cool May was. We started on Friday afternoon and headed in on the trail. It was dry, and the Forest Service had gone in and cut down all the trees that had fallen on the trail. I made a quick pace and found myself on the pass before I knew it. After arriving on the pass we descended to Long Lake. We hiked past Long Lake, and then moved on down the trail to Duck Lake. We arrived to the other half of our party, who had nabbed our site because this was a busy weekend out in the Uintas. We got shop set up and settled in for a nice evening. I shot some photography, then called it a night.

I awoke to blue skies and warm temps. I decided to try to fish in the morning before the winds that were predicted to kick up got out of hand. After fishing for a bit, we all made breakfast and put it together to hike up to Fire Lake. It is a steep but short climb up to Fire Lake, and one that gets more scenic as you head up. We arrived at Fire Lake to find it ready to go for summer. We all tried our hand at fishing, but alas no one had any luck up there. Not sure what the deal was, but they were very picky. We eventually moved on to hike back to Duck via some ponds above Fire Lake and down past Island Lake. The hike back was a nice walk in the woods. The wildflowers are just coming alive so that was awesome to see. Eventually I found myself back at camp, and put in for some more fishing which landed a nice Cutthroat for dinner. Evening settled in and we got a fire going and made dinner. The temps were much colder as a cold front was forecast to come into the area. I stayed up as long as I could, and ended up with a nice shot of the Milky Way.

I awoke on Sunday to really hot temps. I actually slept in a bit, which is unusual for me as I am a early riser. I got up, made some coffee, hung out with the crew, then packed it up to head out. The hike out was a warm one, but very nice to see Weir and Pot Lakes, having hiked most of this basin in one weekend. After four miles of hiking I found myself standing at the car. It was a great first trip of the season out in the Uintas. Enjoy the pics, more adventures to come.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Desolation Lake, Big Cottonwood Canyon- 6.19/20.2016

Well after having the itch to get out for over a month, I finally caved in and headed up for a solo over nighter for the strawberry moon up at Desolation Lake. I started in during the early evening on the Mill D trail and made great time up to the junction. I took a quick break and continued the climb through the aspens on the Desolation Trail. It was so green this year, and so quiet. This trail is longer than I remember, and I took in the scenery as I made my way. Not a cloud in the sky, and the evening light was so amazing on the way in.

After a couple of hours of really nice hiking, I found myself standing at the shore line of Desolation Lake. I looked around and found a camp spot that was pretty sweet, and had access to everything I needed. I put up shop pretty quick, then proceeded to gather up some fire wood and get situated for the evening. I saw a couple of more campers come in after I had everything set up, but they were far on the other side of the lake and did not even hear them. Evening set in and I made dinner. Then I got the fire going really good and set up for some star trail action. I set up the time lapse, then hung out by my first camp fire of the season. It was really enjoyable to be out with crystal clear skies, the full moon, and the trees as my companions. After a couple of adult beverages, I gathered up my camera and called it a night.

I awoke to crystal clear skies and just perfect temperatures. I got up and made some coffee and ate breakfast. I sat in the meadow next to my camp for a while just taking in the silence we do not get back in the city. Eventually I packed it up and headed out. It was a nice hike out, and the trail was in the shade most of the time down to the Dog Lake/Desolation Junction. The hike out of Mill D was a warm one. But the wildflowers are coming alive, so it made the walk really enjoyable seeing all the new blooms. I saw my first Wasatch Columbine this year on the way out. I arrived after a while at the car, and all I could think to myself is, "I could have used another night out there!" I guess you have to give yourself a reason to want to get out again! Click the orange link above for trail stats. Enjoy the pics and time lapse. More adventures to come!

Desolation Time Lapse from Christian Paul on Vimeo.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Twin Lakes, Big Cottonwood Canyon- 6.14.2016

I had some time for an afternoon/evening hike. I wanted to see how Twin Lakes was doing with the snow melt. I started in at Silver Lake, which is currently fuller then I have seen it in years. I made my way up the aspens to the Silver Lake Overlook. After taking some pics I pushed on up the steep section and eventually topped out at the lake. There was still some pretty deep snow on the south side, and it is really full this year. I took some time to take in the Wolverine Cirque and surrounding peaks. The hike out was pleasant and much cooler than recent hikes. It is nice to see the high terrain opening up from our late snow pack which until now, has been stubborn in melting off. Enjoy the pics, more adventures to come!

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Dog Lake, Mill D North, Big Cottonwood Canyon- 6.9.16

I decided to head up Mill D North to see how green everything is and to get out for one of my favorite trails. Pushed a pretty good pace up to the stream, then moved up to the Dog Lake/Desolation Lake junction. I was pretty surprised at how fast I was able to make it up there. From there I pushed up to the lake. It is looking pretty low this year, hope it sticks around all summer. I hiked around the lake and headed up to the watershed sign to sit in the aspens and cool off. I spent quite a bit of time studying the lines on Reynolds Peak for next season. After a while, I decided to make the hike back to the car. It was a fun but fast descent with more flowers blooming while I was up at the lake. A blend of blue, white and yellow captured my eye all the way down. Great day to be in the mountains! Weather was perfect, snow is gone, and the forest is so green this year. I took full advantage for sure. Enjoy the pics, more adventures to come!

Monday, June 6, 2016

Circle All Peak, Big Cottonwood Canyon- 6.5.2016

Summer in the high terrain is here! I decided to head up to Circle All Peak. I have not been up there in years, and felt a need to return there. I started at the Butler Fork trail head and made my way up the short, but steep section that takes you to the first meadow. I reached the wilderness boundary sign, then continued up. A short distance after that I reached the Mill A Basin/Dog Lake junction. I headed up Mill A Basin which was so green and lush. I had imagined with how slow our snow was coming off that this was yet to have awakened from its winter sleep. It was so green with Mountian Clematis and Bluebells in full bloom. The aspens were awake as well which made the climb very nice with the shade they provided.

I worked my way up the switchbacks and around the basin. I eventually ended up on the saddle and headed south on the ridge for the peak. Arriving at the top I was greeted with an amazing view of Big Cottonwood Canyon. This peak has great energy and the view you get of all the peaks in the canyon is stunning to say the least. I spent a bit of time up there, drying out from the climb, and taking in the view. It was so quiet and I had the peak all to myself the whole time I was there. The hike out was a quad workout which I loved for this gets the legs prepped for the multiday adventures. Very glad I returned to this peak for a visit and will go back in the fall. Enjoy the pics, more adventures in the mountains to come!