PreparationsErik, Bobby and I headed out for a night at altitude to prep for our upcoming trip to Mexico's Pico De Orizaba. We decided on Hagues Peak in the Mummy Range of Rocky Mountain National Park.
Out we goWe set out at 6am on Saturday from Boulder, and had to get our backcountry camping permit two hours later when the office opened. We took off from the Lawn Lake TH soon thereafter and made good time to the saddle that lead to the summit. But as we made our way along the gusts of wind became too much with our large packs, so we decided to set up camp in a relatively protected area. Pitched the tent, cooked some food, and went to bed.
The morning afterWe woke before sunrise to grab the peak and watch the peaks light up. While waiting I strode over to look at the Rowe glacier, it was damned good looking, lots of snow (maybe even a little too much) and very steep- another place to add to the list of spring descents.
The descentAfter basking for a few minutes in the warming sun we decided to get back to break down camp. After a cup of cocoa and some oatmeal we packed up and were on our way. From the saddle we found a consistent wind-loaded run that lead back towards an upper lake. But it was a hardened crust that made for some difficult turns- especially in my Koflach mountaineering boots (which I've decided not to bring to Orizaba, because they are utterly unskiable). The second pitch we hiked over to ended up being better, it held a breakable crust with powder beneath.
Overall it ended up being more of a training run for winter camping rather than a quest for good skiing, but it was fun to get in some turns nonetheless.