Regional discussion and conditions reports for the U.S. Rocky Mountains. Please post partners requests and trip plans in the Colorado Climbing Partners section.
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by stevetheartist » Sun Jul 17, 2011 5:33 am

I hiked to Chasm lake on 14 July 2011 and thought others might benefit from some comments and a photo of the horizontal traverse across the snow/ice section near the lake. As the photo shows, there is still a section about 400-500 feet long that is all snow or ice, depending on the time of day you reach it. My hiking partner, a far more skilled mountaineer, did fine with trail running shoes and one of the sticks left there for hikers to use in crossing. I would not have been the least comfortable with just that, and my Katoola microspikes were an improvement over regular boots, though still prone to slipping if I did not plant my feet just right. Several things to note:
1. There are not enough sticks if more than a few people are waiting to cross. Bring one with you and leave it there, if possible.
2. The "path" (what a euphemism) across the snowfield is only about a boot wide. What seems to be a decent packed down path in the photo is really only vertical compression of snow, not horizontal width. All you really have to work with are the recent boot prints of previous hikers.
3. The snow and ice in this section is still moderately deep and is not likely to disappear any time soon.
4. For those interested in the lake itself, it is almost totally free of ice, with only a few floating bergs near the north edges.
5. There are beautiful wildflowers everywhere, and the stream flowing down the mountain is delightfully full and fast. And the marmots are especially attentive.

Travel safely and have fun!
This is a shot of the snowfield crossing from the downhill side taken after we crossed it on our return about 10:15 A.M.
SNOWFIELD LONGS.jpg (199.84 KiB) Viewed 2800 times

The following user would like to thank stevetheartist for this post
Bruce S.

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