24-25 Aug 2013
Peak and Sky Pond was well planned activity by Avishek Roy who is known
for his Nature photography among my office adventureres. It was planned
one month back and communicated to the expected members. The final lot
was Avishek Roy, Abhay Sawant, 1st timer Parikshit Sharma and myself.
The initial plan was to climb Longs peak on Saturday and if everybody
is fit then visit another peak in the vicinity else do the Sky pond
Friday 23rd Aug we had planed to leave office early. To my surprise my
wife showed up in the office along with my 20 month old daughter. This
was 1st time ever after marraige I planned for such trip without
family. After see-off we drove to Chicago Midway airport with Avishek
The flight to Denver was delayed by 20 minutes.
We reached Devor at around 5:50p and continued further journey with
rented car towards Rocky Mountains National Park. On the way we had our
dinner at Sherpa restaurant in Essts Park area. After Dinner continued
the journey to Rocky Mountains National Park where the Base of Longs
peak parking lot. We had planned to rest in the car since within few
hours we were supposed to start the trek.
On Saturday 24th Aug we started the Hike at 3:30am at the height of
9000ft. Everyone of us had our headlamp except me. It was well set
trail route and everyone felt comfortable walking in the cold. We
reached the peacock lake (11000ft) by sunrise, covering 4.5 miles. On
the way rare seen family of bird called white tail Ptmagin,
totaly camoflaged like color of granite rock. Our speed reduced a lot
after this while passing through bouldar field untill next washroom
facility below the key hole spot. The last patch of 100 ft scrambling
on big rocks was easy part but by the time weather god tried his trick
with heavy cold wiind blowing at the altitude of 13500ft.
We saw the chain of hundreds of climbers already on the way to and fro
longs peak but at this point of time most of the climbers decided to
return back since the rain cloud might make the weight boulders
difficult to climb down. We waited for 15 minutes and made a call with
team decesion to return back from this point 3 of us already had
headech due to altitude while one of our teammate was unusaually slow.
We started the descend at 12 noon and took 4 hours to reach the base.
We saw hungry marmot and mountain rats while lunch break. On the way we
( my self and Avishek) were bit worried when we heard the helicopter
howering while we were near peacock lake thinking our slowest member
might have been casualty. But nothing was so bad and we were fortunate
to see the the helicopter went back after circling around the Longs
peak. Also some of the fellow climbers told us the slowest member is
moving very slow after enquiring about his where about. Later myself
and Avishek decided to go down and wait until his arrival. By the time
I told Parikshit to move down as early as possible since he had
We reached the parking lot by 4:15p. Decided to get some coffe and
arrange the night stay nearby. Luckily we got one motel. After all
formalities done we went back to Parking lot to receive our last
teammate. He came by 6:30p. And we all were releived. Immediately we
went to motel took some time to fresh-n-up and ready to move out for
dinner. After dinner in the Thai Kitchen restaurant we went back to
motel for closing the day.
On Sunday 25th Aug. at 3am Avishek drove alone to the base of Longs
peak since we wanted to catch some morning pics of Chasm lake which is
above peacock lake at around 12000ft. The resting team woke up at
around 7:30am. After refreshing coffee got close glimpse of elk,
grazing and enjoying the morning sun. Avishek returned to Motel by
8:30am, by that time we were ready for our next venture and that is
undoubtedly the Sky Pond since no-one had energy reserve to spend next
such hike to another 13 thousanders peak.
It was 9 mile total hike to Sky pond which is at 11500 ft. Before the
hike Avishek drove us to highest road head in the park which was very
scenic. Later we started the hike to Sky pond at 11:20a and passed
through the series of scenic lakes on the way including Alberta Fall,
Loch lake, lake of Glass.
We returned back by 4:30p to the parking lot. spend some time to
frehs-n-up and return jouney to Denver to catch 9:50pm flight.
Unfortunately the flight got delayed by 30 minutes. After Arrival at
Chicago again we were unfortunate to wait for 30minutes for the Share
Taxi. Reached home back in the early morning of 3am.
Overall the I liked the hike since it took most of the energy and also
sense of altitude gain after long time. Also the freshness of the Sky
pond and other ponds on the way recharged our batteries. I will
recommned this hike to everyone who loves to sweat more sometime in
short time by taking care of altitude seakness.