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2015.09.12 Chasm Lake


Chasm Lake has been a goal of mine since discovering it's beauty via online photos. It always seemed out of reach due to the ridiculous elevation gain and myself never attempting such a feat. After a few weekends of consistent hiking, I felt ready.

     A buddy and myself set off in the darkness of the morning and arrived at the trailhead at 4am. At that time, we figured parking at the Longs Peak trailhead would be easy that early. We were wrong. We had to park an extra half mile down the road. We strapped on a headlamp and set off. Our first sight to see was the Estes Cone, a peak 11,007 feet high. It was too dark to view this on the way up. Our most excitement came next; Goblins Forest. Nothing really to see here, but the idea of walking through "Goblins Forest" was exhilarating. It was a neat wooded area which we started to see once the sun started rising. We then passed the foot bridge, a waterfall, Krumholz Patches, battle mountain, then the infamous tundra.

     By the time we met the tundra, it kicked my rear end. We were only about 3 miles in, but my legs began to lock up. We were steadily increasing altitude and exposed to the swift wind as we were above the tree line (11,300 Feet). We were consistently stepping up steep stairs and boulders which wrecked our pace. When we finally made it through the tundra we had a brilliant view. Peacock Pool and Columbine Falls were to the south and Mills Glacier was pointed south west. What a view it was. The last leg was a steep climb up to the foot of Chasm Lake. The view was magnificent. We laid there to take it all in.

     The overall journey took us 12 miles, 2,746 elevation gain, and five hours to complete. Well worth it. I will finish this with words from my favorite mountaineer and author Reinhold Messner: " The mountain is only a challenge before I climb it. That counts more than the success afterword. The experience remains,"

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