Pfiffner Traverse Day 2: Knobtop Mt, Ptarmigan Pt, Flattop Mt, Hallet Peak, Otis Peak, Upper North Inlet (RMNP, Colorado)
Trip date: Aug 14-20, 2018
This day: Aug 15, 2018
Trail started to get crowded (ie: I saw 5 people that morning) so I left the trail and decided to pickoff the smaller peaks along the divide. Knobtop Mt. was first, then the flat area behind Notchtop Mt.
Flattop barely felt like a peak (I guess this is obvious). On to Hallet Peak.
The mini, double island in the middle of the lake (Loch Vale) far below me in this picture is special. I encountered this for the first time a couple winters ago on my first winter attempt to Sky Pond.
I crossed the frozen lake to the island in a near white out. I put on another layer to deal with the wind and checked my primary winter thermometer: are my boogers frozen? They were. This means it's about 15 degrees F or lower and I'd better have a good plan especially if the sun is going down. In many ways, I think that sitting there on that frozen rock was the start of making smarter plans (both pre-trip and on the fly) that allow for bolder adventures. I realized there was a real chance that I wouldn't make it to Sky Pond. This guess turned out to be right. I was determined and returned successfully several weeks later for my first snow-camping trip ever--and first backpacking trip in 15 years. It's fun to go back and read what I wrote then. I've learned so much since then (what the hell was that blue tarp doing there??).