Monday, April 4, 2011

The Rose Lake Loop, Finally!

Warning.  Picture heavy!

After a couple years of waiting, the conditions finally came together to consider riding the whole loop from Fish lake out to Rose lake, then back out down the Watson river trail to the Annie lake road.

Ideally you have :
  1. Warm days and cool nights
  2. Several weeks of no snow
  3. Enough traffic on both trails for a firm trail.
Well, this past weekend, conditions seemed ideal, so 7AM Saturday morning found me loading the Pugsley at Fish lake and casting off.

It was a cool start, but the conditions on the lake were absolutely perfect.

Leaving the lake is always the big question; how is the trail?  Well, it was bomber.  The cold night really locked it up, and the high pressure system promised a cool day, perfect for solid trails.

Cruising along near Ibex mountain

Passed some dog sledders breaking camp, who gave me the Euro stink eye.  Perhaps a bike cruising by their camp ruined the "extreme-ness" of it all?

Looking towards Mud lake

It was still pretty cold

Looking down the Rose creek valley

The trail stayed great, but where it went though willow flats, it was starting to rot out.

Overflow, bummer!!!!

In the meadows, with the easily recognizable Rose mountain to the right.

Heading down through the burn to the lake.  Good times!!

The snow stayed firm right to the lake, making for a fun 500' descent through the old burn.


Arrived at the cabin at 1:30.  Above zero, sunny.  Good time to relax for a while.
Fired up the wood stove, drank tea, read the old magazines, snoozed.
Up at 5:30 the next morning and off by 6:30 to take adavantage of the firm snow.  The weather had deteriorated over the night, and it was socking in and blowing by the time I reached the meadows, so I decided to head out the Watson trail to avoid the exposed, above timberline Fish lake route.  Glad I did, as it makes a satisfying loop.

Some BIG wolf tracks over my tracks from yesterday

The Watson river trail was in A-1 shape, and I was able to fly out, arriving at the Annie lake road 5 hours after leaving the cabin.

Its all downhill from here.
The head of the Watson river.

The great thing about coming out the Watson river is once you are over the pass, its all downhill.
Things are breaking up


Its ~61Km into the cabin from Fish lake, and about 58Km out the Watson.