Vics, Rapid, and Buckhorn traverse

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Our last Ruby Tuesday of 2019, the end of a great summer.

Note: click images to see a larger version in a new window

I was really excited today because, the spoiled brats we are, we generally avoid the Boulder Lake area because there are too many people.

But as expected today, in the 'off season', there wasn't a car in the lot. Early, too- about 8:30.

And they're off!

Trailhead

Much of the trail to the upper lake was bare, but the weekend's traffic had packed the snowy bits into an ice slick. Careful walking got us here in about 45 minutes of pleasant conversation.

Trailhead

I expected we'd run out of footprints by the end of the lake, but one stout hiker had made it all the way back to Rapid Lake. From there, we were truly breaking trail. Except for all the bear prints. That bear (or his team) had been all over.

Trailhead
We basked in the sunshine at Vics Lake, and ate a little lunch washed down with hot coffee. Yes, it's the thermos time of year. Trailhead

And then it was time to head up our first peak of the day. Snow was getting deeper. In places, the snow was actually supportive. In others, it was getting ready for mid-winter avalanches as dry, sugary powder.

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Summit of Vics.

The plan was to follow the ridge above Ruby to Rapid Peak, and then on to Buckhorn Mountain near the top of my hat. Okay, then, better get moving.

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Similar view minus the riff-raff. Trailhead

But wait- we haven't played NTP!

Squaretop just left of center. And if you do the zoom, you can also see The Castle (yes, other stuff, too).

Trailhead

Majers Peak looks cool from here. You can see the summit rock.

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Okay, let's head for Rapid. When a gendarme blocked our path, we traversed out onto the face. If this looks ridiculously steep, there is no need to adjust your TV. Trailhead
Looking down on Rapid Lake. Trailhead

Dave and Ruby on the top of Rapid.

I vaguely remembered climbing Rapid from the north side, and that it was quite steep. Now, it was buried in snow.

Trailhead
We decided to eat that elephant, and fortunately it really wasn't too bad. Other than losing footing occasionally such that we each got a chance to roll in the snow. Trailhead

Did I mention that Rapid is steep? We came down the section facing the camera.

Summit Lake on the right.

Trailhead
And then we were on our way up Buckhorn. This is looking back, with Vics as the highpoint on the right. Trailhead

Dave nearing the summit (already occupied by Ruby).

We sat on top for a while, admiring the views and thinking back to our very busy summer.

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Then a slightly melancholy walk back down the valley in afternoon light and clouds moving in. Trailhead

BFF

Ruby is really going to miss her Uncle Dave.

Trailhead
Make sure to visit davefaitlemond to see Dave's excellent photographs of this trip.  

Map

Trailhead

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