Ice Is Nice!
Most people experience Rocky Mountain National Park in the winter on snowshoes or skis. But there is a small group of Estes Park women who call themselves the Blade Runners and whose goal it is to ice skate on as many lakes in RMNP as possible this winter. The local women are Colleen Demitros, Marti DeYoung, Joanne Moquin and Anne Sneary. Of this quartet, Marti DeYoung has skated on 18 lakes in the park and Joanne Moquin has skated on 15 lakes. These lakes are, in the order they were skated on: Sprague, Gem, Copeland, Lily, Mills, Jewel, UB #1, Helene, Two Rivers, Bear, Dream, Emerald, The Loch, Embryo, Haiyaha, Beaver Pond, Cub and Serendipity Pond.
Of course just getting to some of these lakes is a long snowshoe hike, sometimes through untracked snow as it can be to Haiyaha and Helene Lakes. The approach can take one to two hours on snowshoes. Then the lakes have to have a section that has been blown free of snow and hopefully is reasonably smooth to skate on.
Experience has shown that many times the west or leeward end of the lakes are in better condition for skating than the nearer or windward side. They have found the best ice at UB #1, Gem, Dream, Emerald, Haiyaha, the Beaver Pond on the way to Cub Lake and Serendipity Pond. Lakes which were rated as good were: Sprague, Copeland, Bear and Lily. Of course the conditions are constantly changing depending on snow fall and wind and no lake is the same twice.
Interestingly, the Blade Runners have not met any other skaters on the park lakes this winter, but for those who would like to try something a bit different you might like to sharpen up your skates and get in on the fun.