Clearing Storm Over Maroon Bells and Lake
There's a reason you don’t see many Maroon Bells winter scenes at sunrise in your social media feeds or on the internet floating around. It’s because it’s not easy to get to and photograph. This is not your everyday hike or walk from some parking lot of a national park. It’s a grueling 6-mile hike up a snow packed road that at times makes you think twice about why you ever decided to do it in the first place.
And add in the fact that mother nature threw us a curve ball on this morning. The forecast was an overnight snow storm, but it kept saying it would break around sunrise. And since we were already there. And we had no where else to go. And we were totally amped up to see the Bells … why not head up, right?
We fat tire biked and hikes for several hours in the deep snow and finally got to the spot. Well, at least we knew it was the spot, but Maroon Bells was totally socked in with no visibility of the iconic pyramid shaped mountain peaks. It was looking bad and colossal waste of time and effort. I patiently waited in my spot for the elements to change. My buddy left, all the people that arrived by snow shoes and cross country skies, turned around quickly and left. And I was there for many hours by myself, just waiting. Waiting for something.
And finally after waiting for about 3 hours or so in waist deep snow and in the frigid temperatures, I decided it was a wrap and time to pack up and leave. I was disappointed. But, then it happened. After packing up my gear, I notice it. A small crack in the clouds behind me. It was small, but that little amount of sun hitting the trees made me feel it could possibly clear. So, I pulled my gear back out of my pack and stayed a little longer. And I’m glad I did, as those patience eventually paid off when that cracked turned into a clearing and the famous Maroon Bells showed its face. Add in the fact that some folks snowshoeing came back to see the clearing peaks and I was able to get an adventure type scene that I was more than thrilled to capture.