Adventures Colorado life mountains United States

The Hike to Bear Lake That Wasn’t

By on January 21, 2014
This weekend Mary came to visit me and get in some time on the mountains. The plan was to ski Saturday and Monday and go on a snowshoe hike on Sunday. We stuck to the skiing part of the plan, but the snowshoeing didn’t happen quite like we had intended. But I’ll get to that later.

Mary flew in around noon on Thursday and navigated her way over to my apartment while I was at work. It involved taking a bus and taxi. Then, while I was still at work, she took the bus to get her eyebrows done at her favorite Denver lady, but the bus was diverted around Cheesman Park because of a reported shooting in the area! Luckily all was good with Mary and no one was actually injured in the shooting. By the time I got home, she had also safely returned. Kylie and Sy came over for some yummy dinner and lots of wine and girl talk. We didn’t end up going to bed until around midnight, which made for an earlier Friday night than I think Mary had wanted, but hopefully she still had fun!

Saturday we headed up to the main village in Beaver Creek to get Mary fitted for some skis. We started off on the bunny slope, but Mary rocked that so we headed on a little tour de Beaver Creek. We made our way from Strawberry Park to Bachelor Gulch, where we were supposed to meet up with Jason on his lunch break but my phone wasn’t cooperating so we continued on to Arrowhead. The snow there was terrible, which is pretty typical of every time I’ve gone that far west at Beaver Creek. So we went back to Bachelor Gulch to get an afternoon beer (for me) and hot chocolate (for Mary). Conveniently while we were sitting there I spotted Jason, so he was able to join us for a nice run down Bachelor Gulch. Then we headed back towards the main village but opted to go down through Larkspur bowl instead of down Strawberry Park. Mary was able to visit the top of each mountain in Beaver Creek (except Grouse) in a little over 4 hours.

On Sunday Jason, Mary, and I had big plans to go hike Bear Lake outside of Leadville. Unfortunately when we got there we realized the road is not plowed in winter. As a side note, the National Geographic map had this cleared marked and even included a little cross country skier on it. Google maps did not have any of this information. Since it’s approximately 6.5 miles around Turquoise Lake to the trailhead, and we arrived at around noon, we decided to skip the planned hike and just explore around the lake a little bit. Which turned out to be a great idea and we got some pretty awesome pictures.

 After fully exploiting the views on our 5ish mile hike, we headed over to Twin Lakes for sunset. The first lake was completely frozen with about 6ish inches of ice on top of it. The second lake was almost completely dry. We stood in approximately the same spot that 6 months earlier Taylor and I took a picture with the water up to our knees. Crazy how much can change in such a short amount of time. Anyways, it was a lot of fun and we got some more good (funny) pictures. Afterwards we headed home to get some Pho, which was closed, so we decided to stick with the Asian theme and get Chinese.

Luckily, Monday was a holiday so I didn’t have to work and was able to spend the day skiing. Mary, Jason and I headed back up to Beaver Creek to work on our turns. The snow was perfect, the weather was warm, and the sun was shining. When we stopped for an afternoon beer (Jason and I) and a hot chocolate and hot dog (Mary), I was down to my light baselayer because it was too hot with all my other layers on.

This week I’m getting back into training now that I’m finally not sick and my back is feeling better. I guess I’ll take it slow, which is really hard since I just realized I only have a little over 2.5 months until the Zion 100. Hopefully running with Gaby on Friday will be the kick in the butt I need. She usually is.