Yesterday was a beautiful day in the mountains. Totally blue sky, warm temperatures (for this time of the year) and no clouds in the sky.
We decided to go to Bear Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park and hike up to Flattop Mountain (12,200′). RMNP has been hammered by snow this season and it is a great start for a long and enjoyable snowshoeing and skiing winter. Last year the wasn’t the same amount of snow until the beginning of March! There was up to 2-3 feet of snow on the trail.
Hiking is similar to sea kayaking. With sea kayaking you dress for the possible immersion in the water. If the temperature is 80 degrees (air temperature) and the water temperature is 58 degrees, you dress for the water temperature. You do not go out with just a bathing suit and a t-shirt as that is a recipe for a possible catastrophe.
The temperature early in the morning was 38 degrees as we wore goretex jackets, fleece, boots, gloves, etc. We brought along our crampons, poles, walkie talkies and other important gear. We didn’t see anyone until the Dream Lake overlook. The couple was from Nashville and was dressed properly for the occasion. They seemed to have all the important gear with them and I applauded them under my breath.
But unfortunately, that was the only time we passed hikers that were prepared. Here are some of the people we passed yesterday:
1. A couple of people were wearing shorts and a t-shirt.
2. Numerous people didn’t even carry water or enough water.
3. Numerous people were just in sneakers.
4. One person was hiking with no shirt on.
5. Groups of people didn’t even have any food with them.
6. One person even had an ironed, short-sleeve work shirt on.
7. Some people were hiking wearing cotton shirts.
8. And the list goes on and on.
We learned our lesson a while ago when we mentioned to some kayakers that they were not prepared for any danger that might occur on the water. Since then, we have not said a word. And yesterday was no exception. We knew that we were prepared and that is all that mattered.