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TR Alpine lake to Duck lake

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TR Alpine lake to Duck lake

Postby justm » Fri Jan 10, 2014 9:19 pm

The lack of a real winter, and some new gear, got me going on this little 2 night backpack trip. I got my snow park pass ( via the internet) and headed out on highway 4 to Alpine lake. I parked at the gate ( only one other car), packed up , and headed out on icy hwy 4. It's tricky walking, with snow and slippery ice patches going around lake Alpine. I followed a snow mobile track to the trail head. I didn't bring snow shoes, thinking the snow would be non existent, but it's actually up to 8 inches in the shadows. I would not have made it this far except for the snow mobile track and then the snow shoe tracks on the trail. I carefully headed up and over the ridge, to a snow free side on the other side. I found a beautiful campsite over looking the frozen Duck lake. I had the place to myself, except for some woodpeckers, crows and howling coyotes. It was a cold night , into the upper teens, with the eerie sounds of the thawing and freezing lake. The next day was some fun day hikes with an unknown animal visitor walking me up in the early dark morning hours the next morning ( I think it was a coyote ) Here are some pics :
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justm
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Re: TR Alpine lake to Duck lake

Postby Rockchucker » Sat Jan 11, 2014 1:29 pm

Nice report thanks! What tent are you using?
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Re: TR Alpine lake to Duck lake

Postby justm » Sat Jan 11, 2014 2:12 pm

On this trip, I used the Tarp Tent Contrail, Z Packs Arc Blast 52 liter pack, and a Trail Designs Caldera cone alcohol stove. I heard somewhere that alcohol stoves don't work well in the cold, but that was not the case, the stove worked great ! I also used a bushbuddy wood stove, which worked great.
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Re: TR Alpine lake to Duck lake

Postby Tom_H » Sat Jan 11, 2014 2:36 pm

Wow, the lake surface is exposed ice like a frozen New England pond. I usually nordic ski on Silver Lake in the winter and of course there is normally a dense snowpack atop the ice itself that helps distribute the weight. Though I've ice skated, it was always on a rink, never on a frozen pond with water below the surface. Obviously nordic skis displace weight over far more surface area than ice skates and I am wondering, without the snow atop the ice, could you tell how thick the ice was? Any idea as to whether it would support nordic skiers? Also, any idea as to whether there is a coarse enough surface for the skis to grip on the push off?

As long as the weather stays like it is, if I go hiking I think I will take ice cleats rather than crampons or snow shoes.

Thanks for the report and the pics. Looks like so much fun and glad you got to take advantage of the conditions, but darn we really need snow!
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Re: TR Alpine lake to Duck lake

Postby Rockchucker » Sat Jan 11, 2014 2:47 pm

justm wrote:On this trip, I used the Tarp Tent Contrail, Z Packs Arc Blast 52 liter pack, and a Trail Designs Caldera cone alcohol stove. I heard somewhere that alcohol stoves don't work well in the cold, but that was not the case, the stove worked great ! I also used a bushbuddy wood stove, which worked great.

Great set up, I'm considering getting caldera cone, right now I use a myog cone that mimics the caldera.
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