December 29th, 2011 - January 1st, 2012: Echo Lake New Years

For the 4th year in row, Echo Lake would be my New Years destination. And for the 4th year in a row, I would be joined by SLC and JonnyB. We've always brought a different cast of characters along for the ride, and this year we were joined by Ashley. I had been eyeing the snow reports from afar and knew that New Years 2012 would be far different from the incredible-never-ending-pow-pow-fest of New Years 2011. Snow or no snow, I was excited to be heading back to Echo Lake with great friends.

December 29th, 2011

Warm-up hike in Tilden.

December 31st, 2011

Usually our crew skis along Echo Lakes Road for a mile and then straight out across Lower Echo to reach the cabin for New Years. This year, no skis. We drove to the Chalet parking lot, put on our hiking sneaks, and booted it along the south shore of Lower Echo to our cabin. There was little snow anywhere, and sunshine everywhere. Lower Echo was only partially frozen over and the channel was easily crossable, giving us access to the PCT. Summer was certainly in the air.

(Partially) Frozen Lake
There is no better view.
We often struggle to reach anything close to midnight. Campfires help.
January 1st, 2012

The start of 2012 was my 7th consecutive backcountry New Years, each spent with close family or friends. I can think of no better way to clear my mind, reflect on the year past, look forward to the year ahead, and re-energize for the challenges ahead.

Sitting on the dock of the lake, drinking mimosas. Happy New Year!
JonnyB finally found a maul to go with his beard.
Echoing Hourglass
We're ready for our reality show.
Sand is the new snow.
It is hard to anticipate the start of a tradition. It is hard to determine when a series of events becomes a tradition. It can be hard to maintain a tradition that fits within the busy lives of many people. It is impossible to deny that traditions are a great thing. See ya next year.

1 comment:

JB said...

Well said Bnard. So happy to be a part of the tradition. JB&SLC.

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