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Spring like weather descended upon Fort Collins, and even the mountains this weekend.  Hiking in snow with the temperature right about 50° is something everyone must do.  It is enjoying all the splendor of winter with the weather of a spring day.  Dustin and I took advantage of these conditions by hiking to Emerald Lake in RMNP.  It seems many others shared our idea; the trail was quite crowded, but did not spoil our fun.   Extra special encouragement came the way of running water!  In more than a few spots, open water peaked out from the ice. 

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One woman we met along the way required a course in trail etiquette.  Narrow trails on steep embankments are just part of hiking in the mountains.  However, this women acted as if the trails were as wide as a two lane highway.  Moving at a snails pace, she refused to step off the trail to allow for passing traffic.  Instead, she made us pass her while she was still moving.  It was a bit scary.  Then further up the path we ran into her again (we had stopped to take some photos) and saw her giving trouble to other snow travelers.  A group was coming down a pretty steep, narrow section of the path.  Normally, people going up have the right away, but in some instances you need to use your head.  If someone coming down is already half way down the steep trail, and there is nowhere for them to step aside, wait for them to finish the descent to a point they can stop and step aside safely.  Makes sense, right?  Common sense did not apply to this head-strong hiker woman.  Instead, she nearly fell down the steep slope and caused the other hikers to stumble a bit as well.  Seriously lady, is the right of way worth bodily harm?  It was a wee-bit ridiculous.  Dustin and I tried to avoid her at all costs the rest of the day.

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A couple of brave men were climbing in the gulley just beside Hallett Peak; better those dudes than me.  This entire zone is prone to avalanches.  You can see the second guy in the picture below.  He’s the small dot in between the peaks (click on pic to enlarge.)

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Winter snowshoeing in the park is beyond awesome.  We’re so lucky it is nearly in our backyard.  Today we switch gears, we seek some freshly opened water with hungry trout.  My Pago sunglass review will posted after this trip.

-Stephanie 

Written by Stephanie Mullins

10 Comments

THE RIVER DAMSEL

"Better those dudes than me"!! I find myself saying that more and more lately. Always do what's in your comfort zone… 🙂 Very nice pics…looks a lot like my back yard.

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Casey

Awesome area you get to hike!!! Hopefully it won't turn too mushy during the melt! Thanks for sharing the pics!!!!!!!

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kmurray

So beautiful! It's just breathtaking and I think if I were there, I would sit and stare for a whole week before I could talk again. WOW!

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Stephanie and Dustin

@Howard – It is about time to shake off those winter layers and play in the spring sun!

@Mel – Thank you! The beautiful scenery makes for easy photography fodder.

@RD – You wouldn't believe it but we saw a guy hiking up in shorts and flip-flops. There was 60" of snow on the ground, I guess he missed that memo. Definitely better him than me!

@Joe – Thank you!

@Josh – The nudge crossed my mind as she wouldn't stop to let us pass on a trail not meant to be traveled two deep. I should have at least stuck my pole into her foot…ha!

@Jay – There was about to be trail rage on many people's part because of this lady. People just looked at her incredulously time after time.

@Casey – I could not believe how much melting occurred just while we were on the trail. Melt off is coming fast and furious – we're getting in what we can.

@Kari – It was hard for us to come down and return to daily duties. We just wanted to stay in the mountains all weekend.

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