Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Father's Day - Gibson Lake Trail

We started driving towards Jefferson Lake, but decided on a backpack towards Gibson Lake. We really like backpacking. We parked where Road 120 splits at the campground and gets rough. I'd like to report that our Will-J hiked maybe four miles, and acquiesced to his Dad carrying him/postholing about half a mile through snow to our camp - and then happily turned in for a long sleep with no worries.

Photos here.

We're using (at least what I find) an interesting setup for taking Will-J hiking. Catherine takes it easy on her knees by carrying the bedding/clothes for Will-J (he just uses an adult zero-degree bag) in a larger GoLite pack (actually an old Jam 2). I use my lightweight backpack, don't bring very much for me, but stick our hand-me-down made-in-America bombproof-but-heavy four-person North Face mountaineering tent on top (it's the big tube in one of the photos). This really gives me some peace of mind while backpacking with a four-year-old. Maybe he gets tired, and wants to stop. Maybe conditions are poor. No problem - we have a tent suitable for the Himalaya where he can bed down into for the night. It gets quite warm in there with just our heat, and he sleeps well. Very good.

Part of the point of this blog (or really, the main point) is to remember what the hell I did a few years ago. As such, it also helps keep me honest about past conditions. Everyone this year is talking about what an extreme snow year it is, and certainly that seems confirmed by us not being able to hike much above 11,000 feet last weekend. But wait, on the last weekend of June, 2009, I hiked from Kenosha Pass over Georgia Pass (only a few miles from Gibson Lake) and then to Copper Mountain (hike 3 of my Colorado Trail section hike). And indeed I never actually touched snow on that hike. The verdict - this year indeed has much, much more snow than a relatively good snow year such as 2009.

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