Friday, August 29, 2008

Lake Michael, Moonshine Lake 8.29.08

My intent for the day was for Goat Mt., I had read some reports trying from the West side. The approach was mostly easy trail, although the mileage is substantial. Because of the extensive mileage the plan was to reach the trailhead the night before and hike in the dark and bivy along the trail. As it is for me most things don't go as planned. I instead opted to try to squeeze it into a day and then with the kids not sleeping I ended up leaving 3 hours later than I had hoped. Added to the late start I was experiencing some stomach issues leaving me dehydrated and feeling weak. I finally reached the Cathedral Pass trailhead at 1100 and was off. I saw a couple just leaving which were the only people I would see on this day. The weather was perfect as I struggled up the to Trail Creek Junction. I knew my goal was now in jeopardy. The Trail Creek trail has an over abundance of mosquitoes forcing me to run portions. I reached the Lake Michaels trail in just under two hours. I had been on this trail many years ago and was looking forward to the nice views of Chimney Rock and Overcoat Peak. I had another bout with the hungry mosquitoes near Goat Creek but that was shortlived. I spied a good trail just before the outlet of Moonshine Lake and decided that it might be something to check out on my way out. I reached a point where I could plainly see my intended route to Goat Mt. and decided that my legs weren't able. I decided to steam into Michael lake instead. I had a nice lunch in shady spot and decided to climb the small prominence just to the NW. I picked my way easily to the point hoping for some nice pictures ops. The point just had enough trees to make taking pictures less than ideal. The lighting didn't aid with taking any quality pictures. I picked my way back to my lunch spot packed up and contemplated my long walk out. I took the branch leaving to Moonshine Lake which was in better shape than the main trail. The lake itself was shallow and not much to look at. I only stayed for a short time because I wanted to get out before dark. I layered up for the bug fest on Trail Creek which made it much more bearable. I finally reached the junction for the Cathedral Pass Trail and thankfully made the descent to the car.

Approx 20 miles 4100ft of climb 9 hours car to car.

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