I filmed this short video at Kroenke Lake in the San Isabel National Forest. Click here to see some of the photos from the hike. If this video does not work, blame Facebook’s embed code and/or try clicking here.
This short video includes a 4 short video clips I took of our hike to the snow-covered Kroenke Lake at the base of the Continental Divide.
Clip #1 = view of an unnamed peak near Mount Yale and snow in the forest
Clip #2 = view of the snow-covered meadow near Kroenke Lake
Clip #3 = “Hello from the base of the Continental Divide”
Clip #4 = driving away from the Collegiate Peaks Wilderness Area with Mount Princeton off in the distance.
One of my goals for the trip to Colorado was to return to the Collegiate Peaks Wilderness Area. After some cursory planning, my step-father & I decided to spend three days in the backcountry near Buena Vista, Colorado. The ultimate destination was Kroenke Lake, which is situated at the base of the continental divide in the San Isabel National Forest. The plan was to hike as far as possible the first day, setup camp for the night, the following day hike to Kroenke Lake, and the final day hike back to the trailhead. While we were expecting there to be some snow still on the ground (it’s June after all), we were not expecting to hit dense snowpack within the first mile of hiking toward our destination. We ultimately pitched our tent on a snow bank that was nearest to dry land about 2.5 miles from the trailhead. Earlier this year I purchased snowshoes and by the end of the trip I sincerely wished that I had brought them! All in all, I love backpacking in this part of Colorado! My next goal for this area to is to climb one of the Collegiate Peaks.
The digitally manipulated panoramic photograph above was created from 7 stitched-together photographs of the view of South Park from Wilkerson Pass on U.S. Route 24 about 50 miles from Colorado Springs, Colorado. Unlike yesterday, the Continental Divide is not stuck in the clouds and off in the distance you can see the Sawatch Range, which contains the highest concentration of mountain peaks in all of the lower 48 states in the United States of America. Within the mountain range is th Collegiate Peaks Wilderness area, which includes mountains named after ivy league schools like Harvard, Yale, Oxford, Columbia and Mount Princeton! About 15 years ago I went on a seven day backpacking trip in those mountains and I remember stopping at this scenic overlook. Viewing it again in the wintertime was quite stunning.
Below is a photograph of a map from the Pike National Forest with the peak’s listed South to North. By clicking on it you can see a more close-up view and be able to match the mountains in the panoramic photograph above:
The continental divide has always fascinated me as one of the most important geologic features in North America because it hydrologically splits up the continent into different watershed basins. Standing from the top of the continental divide in the summertime I’ve seen firsthand how the divide influences the weather on both sides of the divide. Looking West from the top of the divide you see a lush green forest and when you look off to the East you see a dry desert environment. This is due to the way the easterly moving clouds can be too heavy preventing them from being able to rise over the 12,000+ foot mountain range. They crash into the divide, release their moisture on the West side, rise up, then continue eastward over the divide. But sometimes they stick around the mountains and are called cap clouds.
It should be noted that there is a place in Glacier National Park in Montana called Triple Divide Peak, where water ultimately flows to the Arctic, Pacific, and the Atlantic oceans. When I was younger and visiting Glacier National Park I was not aware of this peak, but when I visit the park again, I’d like to climb it.
Nikolas Schiller is a second-class American citizen living in America's last colony, Washington, DC. This blog is my on-line repository of what I have created or found on-line since May of 2004. If you have any questions or comments, please contact:
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