August 7, 2013
Green River Lake to Island Lake
What an amazing day! The morning began with some nice mellow hiking along Green River Lakes and then the Green River with views of Squaretop Mountain most of the way. After about 10 miles of nice easy hiking and running into lots of weekend hikers on their way out, the climbing began.
Over the course of a couple thousand feet of elevation gain and seeing CDTers Pacer, Burrito, and Free Radical I finally made it up to Peak Lake, and what a lake it was. Glacial blue in color and surrounds by jagged peaks. I took a nice break there before deciding to go for an alternate route up and over Knapsack Col. Peak Lake, at an elevation of 10,515', is a respectable height above sea level, however this was nothing compared to the col, at 12,200', which paled in comparison to the peaks on either side of the col itself. The hike up to Knapsack started off easy enough but that changed toward the end of the climb as the "trail" basically went straight up the rocky slope. As usual, the tough climb up to the top was rewarded with amazing views to either side, as well as an equally challenging descent over car size boulders on the other side. I had one close call on the way down that left me with a few scrapes and a quick flash through my mind of Aaron Ralston of "127 Hours" fame. Luckily no major damage done and I took things a little slower the rest of the way to where the trail started again.
The hike down the trail approaching Titcomb Lakes was equally stunning. I kept glancing back occasionally to get another look at the glaciated peaks fading behind me. After a break for dinner at the first lake I continued on along the Titcomb lakes and a few others before arriving at Island Lake and finding a place to set up my tent.
Although it wasn't my biggest mileage day, the elevation change and off trail travel over boulders really tired me out. Tomorrow looks to be more straightforward hiking-wise and hopefully just as filled with mountain views! And now.. Sleep.