When I read the description of the Wednesday Trail Trekker hike for the circumnavigation of the West and East Knob in Rocky Mountain National Park, I couldn't quite figure out what the route would be. The route was described as a figure-8, mostly off-trail track amongst the Knobs. I recognized some of the landmarks but not all of them. But I had a free day, knew the company would be delightful, the weather looked good and the snow was deep. Also I knew the guides that day Pete and Linda Langer were very knowledgeable. I was not disappointed.
Thirteen of us began at the Glacier Gorge Trailhead and hiked up the winter route to the Loch. One of my favorite winter hikes right up the frozen and aptly named Icy Brook drainage. As usual, the Loch was very windy.
From the Loch, we turned north to begin our off-trail circle around the West Glacier Knob and climbed to Serendipity Lake. There several of our hikers strapped on skates and treated us to an ice skating demonstration. Apparently this was their 18th wilderness lake skate of the winter.
From there we plunged through deep snow over ridges and valleys with amazing views of Glacier Gorge and the Lake Haiyaha trail area until we made our way back to the junction with the Mills Lake trail where we stopped for lunch near the hitching post which we couldn't even find under the deep snow.
After lunch we headed up towards Mills Lake which really confused me. I thought maybe we were going for a bonus view of the Lake but we stopped just as we topped out on the level area before the Lake and dropped down to the east into Glacier Falls-literally. We plunge stepped or slid down the snow covered falls and followed the Glacier Creek drainage until we got to the familiar Alberta Falls and we slid down Alberta Falls as well. This was our circumnavigation of the East Knob.
A lot of fun tromping through deep snow and sliding down waterfalls.
We calculated that the trip was just over five miles and took us about five hours. Lots of stops for photos and skating!