Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Island Peak - 219 Days to Departure - Lake Serene

Winter brings a whole new level of peacefulness to the mountains. It keeps the crowds away and those who are prepared to venture into the outdoors and break through a deep layer of fresh powder can enjoy solitude even along otherwise popular and overcrowded routes.

Lake Serene is one of the destinations where in the summer one has to arrive early, before the parking lot fills up, and then fight his way up among hundreds of others just to be met by barking dogs and screaming kids. Nothing serene about it.

In the winter it is a different experience. We arrived at the trailhead around 9-ish and we were the first ones to lay tracks in the fresh snow. Later another group caught up to us and they were the only people we encountered the whole way up.

The fresh snow under our boots reminded me of my childhood. It was almost always snowing hard in Czech Republic from November all the way to February or March and the sweet sound of snow crunching under our feet brought back so many happy memories.

It wasn't until we reached the more open areas higher along the trail when we decided to put snowshoes on. They made the remaining part of the trip much easier as we found a significant amount of snow there. The lake was hidden under a white blanket and the serenity of the area was disturbed only by occasional avalanche sliding of the cliffy face of Mt. Index.

What a great day at Lake Serene!

Sunday February 26, 2012
RT: 7.9 miles
Elevation gain: 2600 ft
Time: 8 hours

No comments: