After the Big Snow-a short ski in the Rockies

After the Big Snow-a short ski in the Rockies

Page Type: Trip Report
Lat/Lon: 40.54022°N / 105.86915°W
Date Climbed/Hiked: Apr 19, 2009
Activities: Skiing
Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Back to one of the old haunts - Zimmerman Lake

After three days of rain I had to get out and do something in spite of having no one to go with. Left the house about 8:40 under totally blue skies and knew it would be a good day. No snow till the lower parts of the canyon, then more with each mile. Seemed to be over a foot, maybe two further up. Saw a fox crossing an open meadow just below Sleeping Elephant. Snow amounts seemed to decrease above there but there was plenty. Got to the TH around 10:20, only 4 cars there.
Medicine Bow RangeLooking north to the Medicine Bow Range

Last portion of the trail...Final stretch to the lake

Looked like the trail had been packed on Saturday with a little new snow on top. By the look of it, one snowshoer went up before me. Reckoned there was 18- 24" of new snow. Burned a few calories climbing and fighting the snowshoe divits, particularly in the steeper sections. Saw no one on the way up or at the lake. Plunked myself down in the snow, above the lake and enjoyed the serene, surreal scene that lay in front of me.
Looking north over the...Northern edge of the lake

Sat there for the better part of an hour, watching the cloud shadows race across the snow covered lake.
Ridge above Zimmerman LakeB&W of the ridge above Zimmerman

A little closer lookClose-up of the ridge

Three people showed about the time I was ready to split. Ran into another group of skiers at the edge of the meadow, below the lake. That was it.

Found the snow a little difficult to negotiate on the way down. Packed trail was pretty fast but the transition to the untracked snow was dramatic. For the most part I maintained, with only a couple miscues. Back to the car at 12:45.
With everything covered beneath a deep layer of snow, many creatures were having a tough time finding food. Birds were all over the roadside, searching the only uncovered ground for food. Unfortunately, they were in harms way and at least a couple ended up getting hit by cars, not mine as far as I could tell. Also came across a herd of a dozen bighorn sheep, all ewes and calves, chowing on the 2 inch wide strip of grass at the edge of the pavement, that the snowplows provided. Made me think how tough they must have it when their world is buried in snow.

All things considered, I was glad I got out, it was an awesome day to be in the high country!!


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