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David Noll
(dpnoll) - MLife

Locale: Maroon Bells
Maroon Bells trip report on 08/09/2009 13:55:49 MDT Print View

Over the last three years my wife and I have hiked the Wind River Range twice and Isle Royale. While they were awesome, the Maroon Bells hike at times, was so spectacular the scenery seemed almost fake. We started out on July 30 with my sister Barb, her husband Jim and son David. The first day we went up over Willow Pass into the Willow Lake Basin. Boy was that tough for Minnesota flatlanders, but spectacular!. Life was good. That night it cooled off and we got a lot of rain. Mary and I were in a Lunar Duo and got pretty wet. In the morning Barb started off not feeling well and by 10AM we decided she needed to get off the mountain. I carried her pack to the top of Willow Pass and they started down in a sleet storm. We swapped out our tarptent for their Stephenson Warmlite and small tarp so they would have less weight to carry. It was a good move because that night we got clobbered by rain and sleet. During that day and the next we saw a lot of goats and elk plus misc small animals and birds. After two nights in the Willow Lake basin we headed for Buckskin Pass and Snowmass Lake with the intention of completing the 4 pass loop. We got into camp around 4:30 tired and spent. The next morning we headed out for Trail Rider pass but due to my not looking at the map correctly wasted about 1 ½ hours on the wrong trail. By the time we got back 3 hours were wasted so we just stayed at Snowmass for another night. Here as elsewhere the flowers were beyond spectacular. On the fifth morning we headed back to civilization. We will be back to try the 4 pass loop again.
Here is a link to some pictures from the trip.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/d1948n/sets/72157621866092209/

Tom Clark
(TomClark) - MLife

Locale: East Coast
Re: Maroon Bells trip report on 08/16/2009 09:00:04 MDT Print View

David,
I've never been to the Winds, but have seen some wonerful photos. However, yours have to be the best yet. You had everything...sunshine/snowfall, wildflowers/snowbanks turquoise lakes/rugged rocks, forests/mountains, wildlife/friends!

I always enjoy seeing campsite photos, and hearing how somethings worked.

Thanks for posting.