By the time the snow ended yesterday morning, we had about 22″ of fresh powder. That’s the biggest snowfall we’ve had all winter. Because of the elevation, the snow doesn’t last very long in Estes Park. It usually melts in a couple of days, unlike back east where it can stay all winter.
However in the mountains above 10,000 feet which is about a 10-15 minute drive for us, they had 3 feet by early this morning. Wow! That is incredible. It’ll be fun to get the snowshoes or skis out this week and try it out.
If you do want to go snowshoeing or AT skiing, be very careful where you go. The avalanche danger is very HIGH in RMNP. If the slope is more than 30 degrees, there is much more chance of an avalanche.
This is a picture from our deck which overlooks Rocky Mountain National Park. The winds have already blown the snow from the railings.
Phil and I periodically get emails from Rocky Mountain National Park about things going on in the park. We just received this notice about the temporary closure of Lumpy Ridge .
Each year to protect raptor nesting sites, Rocky Mountain National Park officials initiate temporary closures in the Lumpy Ridge and Sheep Mountain areas of the park. To ensure that these birds of prey can nest undisturbed, specific areas within the park are closed temporarily to public use during nesting season and monitored by wildlife managers. All closures go in to effect on March 1 and will continue through July 31, if appropriate. These closures may be extended longer or rescinded at an earlier date depending on nesting activity.
Closures include Checkerboard Rock, Lightning Rock, Batman Rock, Batman Pinnacle, Thunder Buttress, The Parish, Alligator Rock, Sheep Mountain, and Twin Owls, Rock One. These closures include the named formations as well as areas extending 100 yards surrounding the base of the formation. The perimeter around Alligator Rock extends for 200 yards in all directions. Closures include all climbing routes, outcroppings, cliffs, faces, ascent and descent routes and climber access trails to the named rock formations.
The National Park Service is committed to preserving birds of prey. The same cliffs that are critical for raptors also appeal to climbers. The cooperation of climbing organizations and individuals continues to be essential to the successful nesting of raptors in the park.
Phil photographed this Cooper’s Hawk at the little pond by Lake Estes Trail last summer.
The sky and clouds were spectacular from Lake Estes after the snow the other day. I think the photographs and colors are magnificent. Look at those clouds still over the mountains!
What do you think?
I haven’t seen the wild turkeys very much this winter. But yesterday I was taking a walk down Fall River Road and saw 10 of them pecking around, looking for food right near Castle Mountain Lodge. I didn’t have my camera with me so I took a picture with my phone.
They were all huge! The “rafter” (new word for me…it means a large group of turkeys) of turkeys numbered 10. I’m not sure if this was the same group as before or a new one, as the blonde turkey was not there. They just looked up at me and continued eating away!
The hike from Bear Lake to Nymph Lake, Dream Lake and Emerald Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park is always spectacular…especially in the winter! The skies are so blue and the snow is so pretty.
Many people hike or snowshoe this trail in the winter. Others who are very adventuresome, will put their skins on their downhill skis and ski up to Emerald Lake and then ski down.
On the way to Dream Lake from Nymph Lake the trail narrows considerably so you need to go single file. We were lucky that the trail was fairly packed down when we passed by. It was a gorgeous day when Phil took this photograph!