Lake Agnes Tour

Snow ClimbingMark and Kate take us up the Poudre Canyon to look for a good winter snowshoe and spilt board tour. As we gain altitude the cloud cover grows, but the temperature feels balmy, above freezing. We decide to head for Lake Agnes, one of my favorite mountain lakes, and also one I’ve never visited in the winter. Today is the day. After we reach the summer trailhead around mile 2 we have to break some trail, but there are at least frequent stakes marking the trail. The snow is a marvelous, pillowy powder all the way to Lake Agnes.

The lake, at 10,663 feet, is of course frozen over. The magnificent Nokhu Crags drift in and out of clouds. An occasional snow flurry blows through. While my companions eat lunch, I hike another 500 feet up a nice little isolated gully above the lake. I make use of my homemade slope meter to measure the maximum angle at about 30 degrees. Avalanche risk on north slopes is moderate today, and there is little uphill exposure here, so I take a run on the split board. Ann caught video of some of it:

The lightly treed terrain on our descent would have made for better footage, but I have the camera, and don’t give my snowshoeing companions any warning. Logistics quickly go out the windows of my brain when I have a field of fluffy powder below me.

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