Black Lake (Rocky Mountain NP) - January 2023

TheMountainRabbit

"Because it's there."
.
Joined
Feb 15, 2020
Messages
254
Another day trip to Rocky Mountain NP. I'll keep this one short, since about the first 50% overlaps with my Sky Pond report from last week and conditions were substantially similar.

In the To Do in 2023 post I connected with @RyanP who has some similar winter goals this year and he invited me along for this one. His teenage son and a co-worker were joining us as well.

Black Lake is another very popular summer hike out of the very popular Glacier Gorge/Bear Lake THs. We didn't get to the TH until a little after 10a and were able to grab a spot in the Bear Lake lot, though it was definitely a bit busier than last weekend. The trail itself was fairly busy until Mills Lake, but dropped off abruptly after - in fact, we had the honor of breaking trail from shorly after Mills Lake until arriving at Black Lake. Snowshoes were essentially required after Mills Lake.

Even better weather than last week - though I could've done with about 10° colder. Lots of wind up high, but we were well sheltered on our route.

Looking across Mills Lake.
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Fun cloud formations over Mills Lake. The upper level clouds were zooming across the sky.
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Looking back across the lake.
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Our "trail" w/ the Arrowhead in the deep background. The beaten trail ended quite abruptly as prior visitors decided not to push through the deep snow.
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Followed directly up the drainage in some sections, however thin ice and running water made this less than ideal.
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The crew pushing forward towards Black Lake.
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Large sheets of ice on the cliff sides around Black Lake. A popular place for ice climbing - and I can see why - but nobody there today.
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360° video of Black Lake.
Following our own tracks on the return made things much easier.
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Another fun day in the mountains and an opportunity to hike with some new partners. It was a pleasure meeting all - thanks for the invite @RyanP. Hope to do it again soon!
 

RyanP

Formerly bob32
Joined
Mar 1, 2015
Messages
454
Thanks for joining us! The last few days I keep thinking about how awesome Saturday was, and I'm definitely looking forward to future adventures. The photos just don't do it justice; Black Lake in the winter (especially on a beautiful day like that) is one of my absolute favorite day-hikes. Here are a few more photos:
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wsp_scott

Member
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Joined
May 16, 2016
Messages
1,073
That looks like a great day. I wish I could join you guys, but it is a little far for a dayhike :)
 
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