Monday, September 26, 2011

Gibson Lake - Whale Peak

On Father's Day we were turned back on our trip to Gibson Lake, but after Catherine got her work done this weekend we cut loose to go up there, plus Whale Peak. It was one of those special late-summer Colorado days - t-shirt weather at 13,000 feet in late September? Sure - we've seen it before. Every year, in fact. We remember one particularly nice day hiking Mt. Huron with similar weather in late October (of course, a week later and it was zero degrees up there with snow).

Yet another fun hike in an area of the Divide we particularly enjoy - it's south of the Boulder/I-70/Guanella Pass crowds, but north of the equally crowded Sawatch Range - and closer.

Gibson Lake has a feel of being set-aside by the forces that be - it's a tiny little perfect lake in a cirque practically surrounded by high-traffic jeep roads (and the Colorado Trail only a few miles away). It's protected by the fairly rough road in and the hike. And someone is clearly putting a lot of effort into maintaining the trail. But the old road in was left to deteriorate, the jeep roads are just far enough away, and thus the little lake hangs high and quiet. We shared the lake with two guys up to fish - as well as a large herd of mountain goats:





Whale Peak is certainly nothing crazy - another in a line of climbs we've done in this area (Boreas Mountain, Red Mountain, Father Dyer, a bunch of 14-ers, etc.). It's also another one of those mountains in the middle of it all. There's Grays/Torreys; there's Pikes Peak; there's my recent hike to Ptarmigan Peak/Ute Peak; there are the Gores; etc. I took a bunch of photos of them, but nothing too exciting.

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