Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Lake Lillian, Rampart Lakes 9.18.07

I had hoped for some better weather today and I was mostly disappointed. I wanted to run the Rampart Ridge to East Alta to scout out routes for future trips. I was concerned with Rocky Run Road but the scary reports were very much overstated. The road is washed out for a short portion but is easily circumvented. The encroaching brush near the end is substantial but I managed to squeeze the Subaru without much trouble. I parked and loaded up with some warmer gear and was off. The weather was dry but the brush wasn't. The initial portion of the trail to Lake Lillian is brushy but once the climb commences it opens up nicely. The going is steep but it is less than a mile to Lillian. This route shaves many miles of the standard approach. At Lillian I met a couple who just arrived and was very curious about my shortcut. There was a pair of hunters just making their way West around the lake. I told them that there is a easier and much safer way heading East. I backtracked a couple hundred yards and found a nice climbers trail that goes over the rock slabs that make the lakeside traverse less than thrilling. I had no problems making my way around the lake and soon was climbing steeply to the ridgeline. I easily followed the fisherman's trail to the uppermost Rampart Lake. The visilbility was next to zero so I continued to the next lake in the chain. This area being a bit more open was very cold and windy. I decided that the weather was becoming more and more unpleasant. This proved to be a wise choice when on the way out it began to snow. On the way out I topped out on Pt 5610 which lies just East of the highpoint of Rampart Ridge. I retraced my steps and was on my way back to Lake Lillian. I was concerned with the footing for the steep descents which proved to be unwarranted. As I dropped from Lake Lillian the clouds broke up giving me my only views for the day.

Approx 9 miles 2500ft of climb 5 hours car to car

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