Ever since the flood a few weeks back a lot of people have been wondering how RMNP and the boulders it holds fared during the big storm. Most of the Park reopened late this week, and since I have been cooped up at home since the beginning of the month nursing a bum shoulder and doing a ton of work, Mrs. Narc and I made the trek up to Bear Lake to check things out this weekend.
The good news is that from the Park entrance, along Bear Lake Road and up to the boulders at Emerald Lake there is little to no evidence of any damage from the storm. We did not make the hike up to Chaos Canyon, but the rangers said the trail up to Haiyaha was fine and nothing we encountered up to the Dream Lake junction indicated a high probability of problems higher up on the trail.
The not as good news is that winter-like conditions have already begun in the Park although the amount of snow present could melt pretty quick with a few warm days.
The really bad news for climbers is that the drive up to the Park right now is not one I would ever want to do again. It took us 3 hours to navigate the circuitous route down to I-70 and then north to Estes Park along the very beautiful, but very slow, Peak to Peak Highway. This is unfortunate since Estes Park could really use the support of visitors coming to town to spend some money, but until 36 reopens it’s hard not to recommend against making the drive up there. Perhaps you could have better luck going during the week, but no matter the day it seems to be difficult to get people around here to drive anything close to the speed limit so try not to be in a hurry if you decide to make the trip.
Anyway, here are a few pictures of the day
The shortcut trail off Bear Lake
Frosty conditions on the Kind