On 7 April having felt the need to get out of the house, Mike & Jenny Burris, Beth & Mark Muskopf, along with Marshall, decided to see how far we could make it up the trail to Bill Moore Lake. After a fine breakfast at the Pancake House, we drove out of Denver under cold and rainy weather conditions. As we ascended up I-70 the rain turned to snow, but at the trail head the weather broke. Several inches of snow was on the ground, but at this point we didnâ€™t think it was necessary to chain-up just yet…
Traveling through the first section of the trail was unremarkable. The views were striking with a coating of snow across the landscape. Just before the trail split off for the rock garden, we encountered snow drifts on the trail. They were hard-packed and caused the vehicles to be in a more off-camber inclination than normal. Not wanting to slide off the trail, we took this opportunity to put on our chains. Moving across the snow drift sections required slow travel, good spotting, and a line close to the edge of the trail. Two areas were particularly â€˜sportyâ€™ which required the use of a winch and other rigging to keep from sliding off the trail or into trees. While we negotiated one such section, Beth took a walk up the trail. The switch back turn ahead of us was completely covered in snow and would require major effort for us to get through.
Having enough for the day, this signaled the point for us to turn around. The descent back down to the trail head was without incident. It was about 3:00pm, so we proceeded back to Denver just in time to have a few Heffavison Dark beers at the Chinook Tavern. Afterwards, Mike treated us all to his made-from-scratch pasta sauce which was excellent. We didnâ€™t make it very far up the trail, but it was sure better than staying home and working off chores or watching the idiot box. Everyone had a good time and I for one would certainly like to do it again.