Trip dates: Feb 09-10, 2019
Caltopo map here
I feel like I'm becoming too predictable. Another trip to Wild Basin--I can't stay away.
I'm also about a month late with this one.
I started at the Allenspark TH because the views a couple miles in are the best in the whole region. Because it's fairly high on a ridge and goes through an old burn region (see scar on the right side of above picture) you can see the nearly entire basin: Mt. Meeker, Longs Peak, Pagoda Mt, Chiefs Head Peak, Mt. Alice, Tanima, Mahana Peak and Mt Copeland. Isolation Peak remains hidden. The other trails are lower in elevation and stay buried in the trees.
To the surprise of no one, I ran out of daylight before reaching Eagle Lake. I spotted the clearest hind print of a snowshoe hare I've ever seen. Usually it's just a long ambiguous print. It's actually a little easier to see the profile at night because of of the shadows from your headlight.
This was my first time using my pyramid shaped tarp in the winter. This saves about 4.5 pounds over my standard winter tent. Since there wasn't any heavy snow in the forecast a trekking pole supported tarp would be fine.
But not digging a trench turned out to be pretty stupid. To be clear, I definitely knew I should have done this but figured I could get away with it. In the summer it's easy to stake the corners really close to the ground to keep the wind out, but in the winter when you have to bury your anchors at a depth of 6-12 inches so it's tricky to get the corners very close to the ground. It's complicated further by the fact that it doesn't even stand up straight until the corners are taught.
When viewed from the east as in the picture above, it's not clear where the name "Eagles Beak" comes from. It's more clear when viewed from above on a map.