A tarn is a small mountain lake. The Blue River feeds this lake from the left of the valley and exits on the right.
The purple looking trees are dead. These are killed by pine beetles.
The big peak directly across the lake is Peak 10. Yes, there are so many mountains here they ran out of names. This is part of the Tenmile mountain range.
To the right of the lake you can see the Breckenridge ski runs on peaks 9, 8, and 7. The far right forested area is on Peak 6 which will be getting some ski runs soon.
For fun, find the guy on the stand up paddle board.
This picture is constructed from 32 separate pictures, a bit of magic and some patience. Even so I am not entirely happy with it.
The full image is 157 megapixels. Printed it would be 5.5 feet by 2 feet. I have some focus and exposure matching and alignment problems so I won’t show you full resolution. But, here is 50%. This is resolution enough to see all the problems.
This image started out with worse problems. When I got home and started putting it together I found I missed a piece. See if you can find it. The missing piece was “constructed” using some software called Inpaint. It uses the surrounding parts of the picture to fill in a missing piece. It does quite a nice job, in general. This was my first time trying it so there are some rookie errors. I could fix them but this image is taxing my patience and computers.
Since the trail directly beside the falls was more about climbing than about walking, I decided to go find the main trail. The main trail is close by and is a series of steep dusty switchbacks. Some large sections are steeply sloped across solid rock. Nothing terribly dangerous if you are careful.
As I neared the top of the falls, I decided that my legs weren’t going to tolerate going to my intended destination and get me back. The getting back part is important. Getting to the Mohawk Lakes would require another half mile (easy) and another 400 feet of up (not easy). Living at 5000 feet elevation gives only a small advantage when you are hiking at 12,000 feet.
I worked my way back over to the falls to take this panorama. This is a mosaic of 15 pictures put together using hugin. As you can see, the sky is getting “dramatic”. This was taken at 11,600 feet about 3.1 miles into my trek.
To reinforce by decision to turn back, the “dramatic” sky decided to open up with thunder, lightning, rain and graupel. I am near timberline so there aren’t many places to hide from lightning. I also knew that all those rocks I crossed would get slick very quickly in the rain. Despite my rubbery legs, it was time to go down. This is when you regret leaving the hiking poles in the car.
I noticed this flower beside the falls.
Then, I noticed that above the falls, there was alot more falls.
See the water all the way at the top. At least another 100 feet of straight up to go.
Beautiful, but I have to climb all of this.
Time to lay down and take a nap.
As I was climbing the beside the lower falls, it occurred to me there was a lot more thundering going on that the 20 foot drop would explain. At the top of the falls, I came upon, yup, more falls. Another 40 feet at least!
To be honest, before I started the hike, I was interested in seeing the falls but I really didn’t know much about them. So, when I upon a thundering 20 foot drop, I was pleased. This is a beautiful scene.
This is only a 100 yards or so from the cabin.
Another 1/2 mile and other 350 feet of up (1050 feet total) brings you to the lower part of Continental Falls. Near the bottom is where some hearty miners decided to setup their cabins and mining operation back in the 1880’s.
There was gold discovered near the wetland and further up the trail and it was mined for a few years until the mines played out. The remnants of the milling operations are still here.
One of the cabins has been restored and is used by winter hikers for a warm place to overnight. This picture was taken on the way back down in the rain. Hence the strong overcast.
On a hike to Continental Falls we pass this wetland. Looks like a lake but it is just an unnamed marshy spot.
Hikes in most parts of the world are 1 dimensional. You may go for a 3 mile hike. In Colorado, hikes are 2 dimensional. There is the distance and there is the elevation gain. The “up”.
This hike was supposed to be 7 miles round trip with 1700 feet of “up”. 1700 feet doesn’t sound like much but it is like climbing a 170 story building. And don’t forget you have to go back down.
This lake was about 1.5 miles and 700 feet up (70 stories) along the hike. Still feeling good.
Taken along the Blue River in Breckenridge.
This picture was taken on a walk along the Blue River in Breckenridge. Fresh snow had fallen the day before. The overcast day made the water very silvery.
At top, is an enlargement of the female duck from the same picture.