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  1. #1
    Senior Member trailryder42's Avatar
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    Ptarmigan Lake Colorado Overnight Hang

    Last Monday and Tuesday I spent some time riding trail in the Taylor Park, Colorado area.
    Wenedsday all my friends were headed home and I decided to stay a while longer. I wanted to
    do some backpacking and test out some new gear. Started the morning by hiking up in the hills
    around Cottonwood Pass.







    On the east side of Cottonwood Pass is the Ptarmigan Lake trail. Apparently there's more than
    one. An upper and a lower, plus numerous small ponds here and there. I didn't read the info
    at the trail kiosk so I have no idea far it is. I had 4 days of food, figured I'm good.

    I had talked to some locals in Taylor Park about the trail. They hadn't hiked it but they
    understood it to be a strenuous hike. Yeah, I'd say! Uphill all the way. Very rocky too, but
    a beautiful trail. It took me about 3 hours I guess. About half way up there was a stream close
    to the trail and I filtered some water to refill my hydro pack. I do it thru quick disconnects
    on the hose.















    I stopped at the lower lake for a rest and took some pics of the area.









    Then I pushed on up to the main lake at the encouragement of hikers coming down,
    saying the views were worth it.









    If you hike on around the lake and up to the saddle, you get high
    enough to really see everything well, and see down the back side of the mountain, as the trail
    keeps going, to where I don't know.







    At the saddle above the lake I had a snack, took some pictures and investigated why I felt like I had
    a wet ***. Took the water bladder out and the cap on it was loose. Duh, I was sure that thing
    was tight when I put it in. Sorted that out, then headed back down to the lower lake to set up
    camp for the night.

















    Found a suitable site with good trees. Wish I'd have looked around a little more, because
    afterwards, I was doing some exploring and found a cool site with better views.













    The fish in the lake were hitting the top and I was wishing I had a pole. The sun was going down
    and creating all kinds of neat shadows. Elevation was about 11,800 ft..

    The new gear I was using for the first time was the Cuben Hammock tarp by Zpacks, the 3S
    Burrow TQ, a 3/4 length Phoenix UQ by HammockGear and the Caldera Cone alcohol stove.

    A breeze came and went all night up there. I just knew my feet were going
    to get cold, as I had run off and forgot to pack my Flamethrower booties. But I stayed warm all
    night. A full moon and a whiff of campfire smoke from somewhere were small comforts for
    me, as I lay in my hammock out there all alone.

    At one point while narrating a video I was making on my phone from inside the hammock,
    some critter scurried thru camp, hitting one of my tarp guylines and scared the crap outta me.

    Using a TQ is sooooooo much easier to get in and out of than a sleeping bag. Money well spent.

    The Caldera Cone boiled 2 cups of water on 1/2 oz. of fuel up there. Incredible.

    Since my last hike with several guys from the forum here during the section 6 hike of the CT,
    I've pared my pack weight down by 10 lbs. I could sure tell a difference.


  2. #2
    Senior Member sswens's Avatar
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    Very Nice Tr Thanks for sharing.

  3. #3
    Boothill's Avatar
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    gonna be in the cottonwood pass area next week for 4 days camping, these pics really have my excited, thanks for posting

    boot
    The surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that it has never tried to contact us. ~Bill Watterson

  4. #4
    Member foureyedgeek's Avatar
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    Wow, what a beautiful area, I'm very jealous. Thanks for the report.

  5. #5
    bloomgorge's Avatar
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    why would you ever want to go back to the truck? that was a really pretty area.
    http://smartoutdoors.webs.com/ elephant trunks, tarp keys and crosses

  6. #6
    Herder of Cats OutandBack's Avatar
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    What a great trip report.
    Derek you are my kinda hiker. Never in a hurry to get home.
    I've never hiked in that area you sure found a jewel of a place.
    I just love those rocky trails it keeps the number of mtn bikers to a minimum.

    Love the new gear and -10lbs in the pack!?! that's awesome.

  7. #7
    Senior Member trailryder42's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OutandBack View Post

    Love the new gear and -10lbs in the pack!?! that's awesome.
    There's a misunderstanding. I lessened my pack weight from our previous hike by 10 lbs.. I didn't have a 10 lb pack weight. I've got it down to about 28 lb.

    Wolf Track, I actually "was" making a video at the time the critter hit my guyline, but I stopped it because I lost all train of thought.

    Les, I need to order a sleeve from Mountaingoat for the Cuben tarp. It is so light, trying to set it up in any wind, it can get away from you and get snagged on a tree, possibly damaging it.

    Fronkey, all the campsites were user created sites.

    Jim, sorry, no tree leaning pics. I only leaned against a tree once during a break. I didn't have anyone in front of me to make me feel like I needed to keep up, so I was pacing myself better. lol

    Thanks for all the comments.

    When I got home, the Aarn balance pockets I had ordered were in. Spent this evening retrofitting them to my Osprey Atmos. Guess I'm gonna have to plan another hike n hang to try it out.

  8. #8
    Herder of Cats OutandBack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JayS View Post
    Beautiful country and a great trip report. Thanks for the words, the pictures and the videos!
    Boy do I feel dumb.
    I had no idea the small pictures in TB42's reports were actually video's I thought they were cell phone picts.

    Quote Originally Posted by trailryder42 View Post
    There's a misunderstanding. I lessened my pack weight from our previous hike by 10 lbs.. I didn't have a 10 lb pack weight. I've got it down to about 28 lb.

    When I got home, the Aarn balance pockets I had ordered were in. Spent this evening retrofitting them to my Osprey Atmos. Guess I'm gonna have to plan another hike n hang to try it out.
    I didn't do a very good job of selecting my words TR42. I did understand that you reduced your pack load by 10 lbs. That is still a huge weight savings.

    I hope you'll post some picts of the Osprey/Aarn Hybrid when you get it finished.

    Now I've got to go back to other TR42 trip reports and watch the video's I missed.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Fronkey's Avatar
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    Those photos are beautiful and I would have a tough time ever going home. Do they have actual campsites there or do you just camp out wherever you want?

    I cannot wait to get back to Colorado to do some hiking next summer. Thanks for sharing!

    Fronkey

  10. #10
    Senior Member wolf track's Avatar
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    Those are some great pics. I wish your video camera had been going when your nightime visitor bumped your lines. Eyes big as saucers I bet.

    Awesome equipment upgrades. 10lbs., that's a nice drop in pack weight.

    What type of trail riding? Atv, mountain bike, jeep?

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