When we kind of stubbornly decided we were going to do Ben Tyler Trail (hike details here) this weekend, I knew deep down there was no way in hell we would make it to the top……. AGAIN. It is really close to Kenosha Pass and one of the areas that probably got 4-5 feet of snow over the last month and then this week we had rain all week which meant snow storms up high, but still we got up insanely early and headed out to this trail.
At the beginning of the hike we were really optimistic, the trail conditions were straight up awesome and the weather was perfect. I mean check out that sky, have you ever seen a more perfect color blue!
About a mile or so in, the snow really was taking over and we were trying to not comment about how deep it was starting to get. There was only one other set of foot prints in front of us and honestly we were really hoping it was someone who had made it to the top. We saw him jogging down not long before we crossed the stream for the first time and we were so excited he was actually there today (and not the day before) that we forgot to ask how far up he made it.
It wasn’t too far after this that we saw where the runner turned around, headed back and then we realized that it was time for gators. I picked up some new ones at a great price and I am so glad they arrived before this hike because I needed them today.
We honestly didn’t take that many pictures and when we did, these are all with my iPhone or our Olympus tough camera not our canon, but the day was so beautiful I think it would have been hard to take a bad picture.
After we saw where the runner turned around, it was just us blazing the trail through the snow. Which we love but man was it a workout, first a foot, then 2 and 3 when finally we got to the trail marker around 10,000 feet up.
We were huffing and puffing all through here still feeling good so we continued forward although we knew that it was unlikely we could get all that much further. It was actually getting warmer, the snow was getting deeper and more unstable yet we still had hope that we might make it up a little higher or that the snow would be a little less but finally we had to admit….the snow was too much.
Before we took these pictures, Aaron slid down almost to his waist, for like a second we wanted to try to go further and try too hard to make it to the top. But the clouds were really moving in and the reality that the snow was not going down at all hit us. We turned around and started heading back, as I have begun to learn going down is not as easy as I once thought it was, the temperature had started raising and the snow was melting pretty quickly. Only from the bottom up or so it seemed, the stress to our knees was intense.
The hardest part of heading down before we wanted too, was that the clouds almost disappeared and the sky turned this intense amazing blue that made us wish we hadn’t turned around ( even though it was the right decision) because the views on a day like yesterday would have been unbelievable. I cannot wait to make it to the top one day and we will!
I feel like I had never seen this color blue in nature until I moved here and now I cannot get enough.
In the end we managed to get to a little over 8 miles of hiking with a total elevation gain of 1700ft but it took us 5 hours round trip. One stupid feeling of awesomeness hit us on the way back, there was another pair of foot prints in the snow that suddenly appeared but they turned around at least half a mile or more before we did. We got to the parking lot as they were finishing up their de-clothing post hike ritual, 2 guys younger and in better shape than us the look on their faces when they realized we went further than them was priceless. We could almost read their lips “like seriously they beat us”, it felt crazy great!
We just loved the views too much and our favorite pictures got out of control so forgive me.