Remember what I said about not following footsteps off a cliff? Well, let me backtrack on that one.
They’d been weaving off and on the main trail for over an hour by the time I reached Lake Helene, but on the way to Odessa Lake is where things got a lot more interesting.
This time the footsteps did, in fact, lead straight into a ravine and down the mountainside, all the way into the valley below. You’d be forgiven for thinking those hikers might have fallen and needed rescue, but no, they went on after that.
So I did the only thing that made sense at the time and jumped right down.
But the slope was so steep and the snow so powdery, it would have taken me an hour to reach the bottom (if I didn’t lose my balance and break my neck first). So what else could I do but ride that cliff all the way down on my ass?
Let me tell you, sending waves of snow a foot into the air as I plowed down the mountainside was altoghether hilarious and exhilarating. Sadly, I only thought to record after the slope had already leveled off, so the visuals weren’t nearly as exciting. Swipe left to see some of that footage!
Then I had a moment of panic where I misread my map and feared I was headed in the completely wrong direction. So I stupidly climbed back up the cliff (800 feet of it, according to my Apple Watch, and just about as vertical as you can imagine). But once I got back to the top and onto the trail proper, I realized that it meandered so close to the edge of the cliff, previous hikers must have played it safe by preemptively throwing themselves off it ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
📸 iPhone Xs Max.
📍 Fern Lake Trail, Rocky Mountain National Park.
Double-tap if you ❤️ the national parks, and 💬 tag a hiking buddy 👇🏼
— @zecanard 🦆
126 7552 July, 2019
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