Sunday, July 23, 2006

Pacific Peak revisited

Last week, Amy and I took Andrew hiking near Pacific Peak (13,950 feet), but didn't summit (see this post for the whole story). On Thursday, we sent Andrew to Grandma's house so we could have a chance at making the summit - sans Andrew. This time we approached from McCullough gulch, the next valley to the south. It doesn't have as many lakes, but it has a spectacular waterfall and is a beautiful hike.

Pacific peak has a decent-sized lake just below it's summit. The lake lies at an incredible 13,500 feet, and it has a large snow field which sinks into the lake's edge even in late July.

On the hike up, we spotted a family of ptarmigan - mom and about 5 chicks - browsing on the alpine vegetation. On our return hike, we passed by an interesting scene: a melting snow field, with a trickle of a stream running underneath it, had formed a tunnel, and flowers were growing underneath the snow tunnel.

Here is a photo from the summit, showing the lake, and 14,000+ foot Quandry peak in the background. It's great to live in Colorado!

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