Written in Miya-style. Beware.
Trip into Forest Canyon to climb Terra Tomah Mtn & beyond. With Ron Miller (your narrator), Jeff Bossenbroek, John Forman.
Park at Rock Cut. Descend steep hillside 2300' to headwaters of Big Thompson river. Use elk trails & anything else to ease the step-down grind. Down to river in 1.2hrs. Gravel bar crossing. Pretty stream. Two piles of bear scat along the stream. Two old-style fire rings, long disused.
Head the .5 mile up to Little Rock Lake site. Miserable travel. No trail, hardly even elk trails. Much down timber. Hard labor. 2 hrs. Skeeters aplenty- I love the smell of Deet in the morning. Humid but no signif rain.
LRL site nice as remembered. Fished outlet creek. Little fish. Hard to find enough keepers for John's dinner. Plan to pickup somebody's left-behind-and-chewed-up 2 layers of open-cell foam mat. John will dry it tommorrow for carryout.
Jeff and I up at 0500 to climb Terra Tomah from LRL. John stayed behind to go back to Thompson to fish all day while we climb. 2 hrs scramble on loose rock to gain 'crux of ridge' per Roach. Nice views, nice day. See the jeep sparkling in the sun "just across the street." Once above the crux move, tundra walk. Summit in 3. Head to Julian. Change to shorts. 1 hr more to summit Julian. 5 mins later the Boys Camp gang arrives (14+). They came from Milner via Cracktop. Long way. Even longer back. We sign in and go on. Next notch in ridge take scree slope down to Inkwell Lake. Rest. Enjoy. Note some clouds building but not to big rain. Walk along lake edge. A few patters of water but no raingear or lightning. Climb dike ledges to get over to Arrowhead. Edge along Arrowhead on W side. Up to Love Lake, up to puddle, down to "mountain lion (that almost ate Ron) lake." - actually unnamed on the map and invisible from Trail Ridge. No one there. Bushwhack down ridge back to camp. Jeff trailed. Thought he saw antlers on Ron's head sometimes. Camp at 1500. Big day.
Thin clouds at sunset. Warm night. John's thermarest leaky. Stuffed under his tent with the old foam. Up at 0630 with jaybirds squalling. Thin clouds over sky. 0815 outa there with two of us carrying out pieces of the junk foam pad. Down creek to meadows, cut across to river. Heavy down timber. Antlers don't help. 1.5 hrs to river. Nav right on. 100yds to gravel bar. Pump water. Prepare to climb.
Up avalanche chute. Nice clouds - shade. Huff&puff&blow&sweat. Follow camper crash debris trail up 2000' to Rock Cut again. Propane tank, 55gal drum, 5 gal can, boots, toothpaste, elastic underwear band, rotten jeans pocket, leather belt, 2 golf balls, 3 different pieces exhaust pipe, 1 bighorn skull, 8 vertebrae, 1 legbone, 2 pcs jawbone, 1 storage door, 3 pcs 'handrail', 1 block wood - little things keep us going up. Cold wind near the top. Can't stop, sweat soaked tshirt will freeze. 3.8 hrs to car from camp. Couldn't go this way if wet. Is there a Park Historian to ask about this junk? Did a rougue Bighorn shove a full-grown camper off the road????
Tourists don't even know what we are. They can't imagine where we've been. Good. It's Wild out there.