From: ajs@hpfcdc.HP.COM (Alan Silverstein)

Date: Thu, 22 Sep 88 17:10:17 GMT

Subject: Trip reports: various adventures

Newsgroups: hpnc.general

Saturday, August 20 - Sunday, August 21: Sandbeach Lake, 10283'

I hoped to spend two nights camping in Rocky Mountain National Park's Wild Basin, and climb some peaks, accompanied by HPites Bill Vodall and Chuck Reese. Unfortunately, bad weather cut the trip short.

We departed the well-marked parking lot and trailhead at Copeland Lake, 8312', on Saturday at 1030. We took a new, more gradual trail which was just being completed. It makes the climb to the moraine SE of Mount Meeker less of a strain. From the top of this glacial ridge the trail meanders W through heavy forest, generally but not always uphill. During the hike I realized to my surprise that it was only my second foray into Wild Basin after eleven years in Colorado.

I'd heard that the trail and the lake were not particularly beautiful, and such was the case. We reached Sandbeach Lake at 1335 (3:05 to gain about 2000'). There's a lot more bare shore than water now since the lake was drained down this summer and an old, unsound dam removed. Four campsites are distributed along the NE shore. From the one we picked, we had a nice view N across the lake to Pagoda Peak, and to Longs Peak hiding behind the enormous S flank of Mount Meeker.

That evening we did a bit of cross-country hiking looking for Lyric Falls, about 1/2 mile NE of the lake in deep timber. I don't think we found the falls themselves, but we did enjoy some very pretty natural scenery.

Sandbeach Lake really is just about almost sort of warm enough to take a swim, as some neighbors demonstrated. It was getting late in the day so I settled for wading around a little.

After an uneventful evening, around midnight, as we were sacked out in our tents, the wind began howling ominously... I thought about the tall, straight dead tree leaning over my tent. I thought about how long it had stood there... but somehow I wasn't reassured. Between that paranoid thought, and the frightful wind, I slept terribly.

Sunday morning dawned grey, cold, and very windy. By 0830 clouds had obscured the tops of the nearby peaks, whipping past them at hurricane speeds. A classic cold front had arrived. Climbing was out of the question, and hanging around another day to take Monday off work, hoping for better weather, wasn't appealing either. So we packed up and marched back out from 0910 to 1130, more or less. Sometimes it just turns out that way.

By Alan Silverstein.