Blue Lake (Rawah Wilderness, Colorado)
Trip dates: Dec 08-09, 2018
Caltopo map here: caltopo.com/m/718R
This was my first visit to the Rawah Wilderness. The winter trails aren't nearly as well tracked as in RMNP so be prepared to work hard. All of my pictures are from Day 2.
I'm beginning to think that alcohol stoves are the way to go year round. The times required to melt snow are long when it's cold (15 minutes or so when outside temperature is 5-10 deg F), but winter nights are so long it doesn't really matter.
I did learn something really valuable about alcohol stoves on this trip. I made a larger version of the Kojin Stove that has a larger fuel capacity. My local grocery store stopped selling yellow bottle HEET for some reason but I wanted to test the stove anyway so I used 91% rubbing (isopropyl) alcohol. At home, where temperatures were much warmer, it worked great. When it was 5 degrees the water in the rubbing alcohol froze and wouldn't light. Luckily I had brought the smaller Kojin stove and HEET I bought on the drive upas backup so everything was fine.
I'd planned a much longer route but I got a little nervous about the slopes around Blue Lake and possible avalanches. I don't have any real avalanche training so I played it safe.
After getting back to the trail head I drove a bit further west down CO 14/Poudre Canyon Rd towards Cameron Pass and Nokhu Crags. These wound up being the best mountain views of the weekend.
1/7/2019 01:49:12 pm
This was an extremely beautiful trip. And certainly enough snow to test out snowshoes. I hope they worked well.
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