Friday, January 20, 2012

Thursday Adventure: Chasm Lake (Colorado)

I haven't been around the internets much recently, and that's not likely to change in the next weeks - I am writing, writing, writing on The Tainted City, wholly immersed in the story to the point where the "real" world feels a lot less real than the one in my head.  (This is good for the story, bad for, um, everything else in life...)  Anyway, for today's adventure I'll just share a couple pics taken on a hike to one of my favorite mountain spots close to Boulder: Chasm Lake, beneath the towering east face of 14,259 ft. Longs Peak (the east face is known in climbing circles as the Diamond, and is the site of many excellent alpine rock routes).

Chasm Lake

But you don't need anything more than a sturdy pair of hiking boots to visit Chasm Lake - though in the early season when snowfields still cover the trail, a trekking pole or ice axe can be quite handy!

Early season on the Chasm Lake trail

The lake is lovely; my camera totally doesn't do it justice.  It's actually one of the spots I was thinking of when writing the lakeside confrontation between Kiran and Pello in The Whitefire Crossing.  Perhaps I'll go back this spring and get a few shots of the fascinating ice formations that happen as the winter ice sheet melts.  I know I've got some pics of that already somewhere, but I failed at finding them.  Instead, have a marmot picture, taken in the boulders beside Chasm Lake:

Marmot chilling out beside the lake


  1. So how far of a hike is it to get to that spot where you took the picture of the lake?

    I'm thinking a wide angle lens on a DSLR....

  2. It's only 4.2 miles one way (~2400 ft elevation gain), see . Heh, the hardest part is finding a parking spot if you go in high summer, because Longs is such a popular 14er to climb. I like to visit Chasm Lake in the early or late seasons when the standard route on Longs still requires ice gear (that keeps the crowds waaaay down). Oh yeah, and since the Diamond faces directly east, I'm told that if you go before sunrise, the alpenglow can be spectacular. (I've been on the Longs trail numerous times before sunrise to climb the peak, but sadly the main trail winds around the back side of the mtn & so misses the best alpenglow views.)