Sunday, November 22, 2009

Mohawk Lakes

The trip to Lair o' the Bear a couple weeks ago with Taryn was nice, but I needed a HIKE. Something to push me a little. So a little research made me think Mohawk Lakes might be worth a shot.

The snow on the trail was nicely packed, the sun was shining and there was no wind to speak of. Perfect conditions for late November!

Spruce Creek was starting to freeze over, but this crossing was pretty close to the trailhead so it hadn't gotten quite cold enough.

I played peek-a-boo with this apparently unnamed summit just north of the trail for much of the way.

There it is again!

This old mining cabin doubles as a storm shelter. That lack of wind I mentioned before? The higher up I got, the more wind there was. Not surprising, I suppose.

More "ruins." Like giving them a name that implies some sort of historical significance makes them anything other than junk somebody couldn't be bothered to deal with after they outlived their usefulness.

By the time I got to Lower Mohawk Lake, the trail was REALLY hard to pick up. So...

...I walked across it. But I didn't see any footprints going up here, which I assumed led to Upper Mohawk Lake.

So I bore north up a slope that looked like it had a decent ridge line to try and get to where I believed the lake to be. That's the view back down to Lower Mohawk.

I apparently wasn't the only one who had tried this. I figured I'd at least follow the footprints for a ways across the scree and hopefully find an actual trail again.

Didn't happen. By the time I got to this point I was pretty tired, my nerves were frayed from being a little too exposed for a little too long, the sun was rapidly descending and I still wasn't sure I knew where the lake was. So it was time to turn around.

Back across Lower Mohawk Lake. Unlike Spruce Creek earlier, this sucker was frozen SOLID.

The view to the east as I descended. The shadows were starting to get REALLY long, so I booked it pretty good back down.

Took me 3:40 roundtrip. Since I never made it to Upper Mohawk I probably only went about 6.5 miles instead of the full seven. But since I actually ended up ABOVE the lake, it was probably 2,000 feet of elevation gain.

This was my first late fall hike, and I enjoyed it. It was tough, and I'm not sure how much longer it will be worth going to Summit County without more appropriate gear. But it makes me think I may still be able to get in a few more hikes at some lower elevations this year before doing some snowshoe stuff later.

1 comment:

Orontes said...

Have you been in Colorado long enough to see/note if the snow/ice fields are smaller?