Be sure to click on these photos for larger versions.
|1. Alberta Falls was completely frozen over with only a small amount of visible flowing water just down stream from the falls.|
|2. The trail approaching the Boulder Brook split. A large portion of the trail just past this point and up to the Loch / Mills Lake split was completely dry. Quite a contrast to the majority of the hike.|
|3. The Mummy Range.|
|4. Shortly after the trail splits and heads toward the Loch, the trail took a path down to and followed Icy Brook. This shot is looking up Icy Brook.|
|5. Taken from the same place as the previous photo, this shot is looking down Icy Brook.|
|6. The Loch, completely frozen over except for small areas at both the inlet and outlet ends. Also in this photo you can see Andrews Glacier and Taylor Glacier.|
|7. That's me rounding the northwest side of the Loch. From the downstream side of the Loch and beyond is where the snow became non-supportive and I needed to put on the snowshoes. Even with the snowshoes I had trouble sinking in sometimes. There seemed to be no one single heavily used trail rounding the Loch. Part of that area I forged my own trail. But once past the Loch, a good trail developed again.|
|8. Ice. Looking northwest from the Loch.|
|9. During the summer, Timberline Falls would be easily visible from this point.|
|10. Very close to Timberline Falls now.|
|11. This is Timberline Falls, completely frozen over and covered with snow.|
|12. The view looking north-northeast from falls.|
Once I got to the outlet end of the Loch on the way back down, I removed my snowshoes. I didn't need them on the way up, so I shouldn't need them on the way down. Right? Wrong! I didn't have to go very far before I put them back on. Somehow on my route down, I didn't follow Icy Brook but rather started to follow the summer route. Rats! As soon as I found a good opportunity, I made my way over to Icy Brook.
I could occasionally hear water flowing, but rarely saw any. Icy Brook was mostly snow covered with never a hint of the threat of breaking through. I followed the stream down beyond the point where I picked it up on the way up. I followed it until I reached the bridge on the Mills Lake trail. From there on, I followed the usual trail back to the Glacier Gorge Junction trailhead.
The weather was good. Mostly sunny with temperatures in the low 40s I'd say. Winds were light everywhere except near the Loch. It was a great hike.