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Chasm Lake / Diamond Wall
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My first hike into Chasm Lake was in May of 2003, and I was so bummed when I realized that the historic Chasm Meadow Cabin, built in 1931, had been destroyed in the avalanche that followed the big "100 year storm" just two months prior. Four years later now, August 25th, 2007, Suzy and I hit the trail at 6:45am once again headed for Chasm Lake. Coming up through timberline, the distant view of the Diamond Wall of Longs Peak with the morning sun was awesome.

View of the Longs Peak Diamond Wall from timberline, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

Just passed the SE corner of Mount Lady Washington, heading down toward Chasm Meadow, I stopped to get this shot of Columbine Falls above Peacock Pool. Suzy, using the great Nikon binoculars she gave me on my Birthday last year, counted nearly twenty climbers on the Diamond Wall - wow!

Columbine Falls, Chasm Meadow, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

Crossing the southern slopes of Mount Lady Washington, we couldn't help looking up and thinking about our first hike here, in May, four years ago; coming out, an icefall came crashing down these slopes, crossing the trail right behind us. If we had departed a couple minutes later, we would have been right in the middle of it. This shot, looking up at the Diamond Wall, with a mini waterfall in the foreground, was taken after reaching safer ground at Chasm Meadow.

View of the Diamond Wall from Chasm Meadow with mini waterfall in the forground, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

The Ships Prow is a cool looking formation at the west end of the Meadow, between Meeker and Longs. It looks like a good climb, but probably not good enough to justify the long approach with gear, since I haven't seen anyone on it yet.

Ships Prow, just SE of Longs Peak Diamond face, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

We arrived at Chasm Lake around 10:30am with unbelievably clear skies, and still early enough for sunlight on the east facing Diamond Wall. The lake sits at 11,760 feet elevation, between Longs Peak and Mount Lady Washington.

Chasm Lake and the Longs Peak Diamond Wall, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

This close-up of the Diamond, taken at roughly 10:50, still had enough sun on it to provide some contrast, but the photo opportunity was just about over.

Close-up of the Longs Peak Diamond Wall, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

While I took some pictures, Suzy had the binoculars out again, and was looking up at the diamond, trying to identify what routes the climbers were on.

Suzy at Chasm Lake with binoculars, watching climbers on the Diamond Wall, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

The hike back down to the trailhead was fairly uneventful, but good, except for some minor harassment from the local Goblins. I didn't get their names, but I know where they live.

Goblin Forest camping area along Longs Peak Trail, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

Longs Peak Area Topo Map

Area Guide Books

Rocky Mountain National Park: Dayhiker's Guide

Hiking Rocky Mountain National Park

Click for Estes Park, Colorado Forecast