The Long’s Peak Trail in RMNP is notorious. Why? During the summer it is like a busy street in New York City with hikers going along like a wagon train, some to the hitching post point, some up to the Boulder Field, the Key Hole and on up to the top of Long’s Peak, and some to Chasm Lake. As of last week, there is still too much snow and ice to be able to summit without risking your life, which you do when the trail is clear anyway!
But our goal was Chasm Lake, and even on that trail there is still a major snow field to cross, one slip and you wouldn’t stop until you hit somewhere on the shore of Peacock Pool far below. This is a well-traveled route, but it is also a long and hardy trail. One of the most difficult decisions to make is going on, down to Chasm Lake from the hitching post when you know you will have to climb back up before you head back down to the trail head.
It is, of course, well worth it! The day was warm and sunny, the wildflowers were blooming in abundance, and there were climbers on one of the sheer rock faces that surround much of the lake. One beggar marmot really wanted me to share my sandwich-people just don’t get the idea that you shouldn’t feed the wildlife.
Crossing back over that snow field was far worse than when we crossed it going down to the lake. It was slick and I was unwilling to move too fast for fear that I would lose my footing and be waving goodbye to Elaine as I careened down the cliff. The trail head sign was a welcome sight after a long and glorious 81/2 mile hike!