Escaping The Nutshell
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This was a very snowy hike; snow covered the trail almost the whole way, but waterproof boots and gaiters kept the feet dry. Being a monday, there were plenty of spaces at the Glacier Gorge parking area, where we started at 11:23 (17:23 UTC).
We headed up the Glacier Gorge Trail for a ways, then departed the trail, going approximately up the Fire Trail (which was entirely covered with snow). We eventually reached the Glacier Gorge Trail again, just before its intersection with the Loch Vale Trail, but stayed on the Glacier Gorge Trail to Mills Lake. Continuing past Mills Lake and Jewel Lake, we turned around when we had enough, and returned to Mills Lake.
A little north of Mills Lake, we departed the trail and headed northeast through rather rugged country thick with trees and snow. It was slow going, but we eventually reached the prominent glacial knob which can be seen from the Glacier Gorge Trail as you approach Mills Lake.
From the knob top there are spectacular views of Mills Lake, Glacier Gorge, Keyboard of the Winds, Half Mountain, Thatchtop, Andrews Glacier, and Bierstadt Moraine. The erratics on the knob top reminded us that the glacier that filled this gorge was very deep.
The glorious view made it hard to leave, but eventually we descended a little east and south of the way we came. On the return, we took the Glacier Gorge Trail back, instead of the Fire Trail, finishing the hike at 16:56 (22:56 UTC).
Min/max altitude: 9137/10337 ft
Min/max difference: 1200 ft
Distance traveled: 6.0 miles
|Place Name||Elev [ft]||Accuracy [ft]||Position (lat,lon)|
|Glacier Gorge parking area||9202||26||40.31075,-105.63992|
|Mills Lake knob high point||10347||20||40.29383,-105.64200|
© 2012-2015 Stefan Hollos and Richard Hollos
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