Bear Lake to Bierstadt Lake – when Colette is away, the kids must play.
We picked through good snowshoe options, and Tom picked Bierstadt Lake from the Bear Lake trailhead. Since the Bear Lake area is the most popular area in Rocky Mountain National Park, we knew that we might not get a parking spot and picked Bierstadt from the Park n Ride area as a backup plan.

Luckily, the weather turned south as we got closer to the Bear Lake area, and people without gear were leaving in droves. Huge, fat, fluffy snowflakes falling makes for great photos and fun outdoor time.


Through the Snow

Through the Snow falling at Bear Lake
I think this is the first time we’ve snowshowed in heavy snowfall like this.



Analysis

Analysis
Step ON the log, or step OVER the log?


20 minutes up the trail, the snow stops falling and the skies clear up – nice! This trail has very little traffic in the winter, and we had solitude for the most part.


Snowy Paradise

Snowy Paradise headed up from Bear Lake
It doesn’t get much better than this!


Fresh Powder

Fresh Powder
It’s tough work breaking trail, but fresh Colorado powder like this is amazing!


Trenching

Trenching
Tom leaves a nice trench for us to follow in.


At Bierstadt, we dug a deep snow pit, fired up the JetBoil and spent over an hour relaxing and enjoying our spot out of the wind.


All Dug In

All Dug In
The crew dug in and making lunch.


Where’s Waldo?

Where's Waldo?
We dug deep enough that you can’t even see Tom and Shelby here.



UFO

UFO
This lenticular cap cloud makes a perfect UFO over Bierstadt Lake.


Postholing

Postholing
This is some serious snow up here.


Crunch Crunch

Crunch Crunch
Making our way across Bierstadt Lake, with a storm sweeping across Hallett Peak and Otis Peak in the background.


Wide. Angle.

Wide. Angle.
A panorama shot at Bierstadt Lake.


Get the Shot

Get the Shot
Grabbing a cool goggle reflection shot.


Powder and Rock

Powder and Rock headed back to Bear Lake
Heading back down the Flattop Mountain trail.


We watched the storms blow over Hallett Peak and the west side of the Bear Lake area, and by the time we made it back down to the lake the wind was whipping ice chunks and generally causing havoc.


Proper Gear

Proper Gear - Crazy Wind at Bear Lake
Good thing we all have proper gear, because the ice crystals flying here at Bear Lake are like little daggers.



Just the right amount of exercise and adventure for a Saturday in the Park!