Isolation Peak (13,118 ft, 3,998 meters), 07/03/2004
We left our house in Longmont at 5:52 and got to the Wild Basin entrance station at 6:34. The rangers weren't even collecting fees yet. This early in the morning, there were plenty of spaces to park at the Wild Basin Ranger Station, and we began hiking at 6:50. We got to Bluebird Lake at 9:27, and didn't meet a single person along the way. We crossed the outlet of Bluebird Lake, then followed its north shore, before ascending and heading west. Lark Pond passed below us, then as we saw Pipit Lake below, we headed north, continuing to ascend and reaching Isolation Lake at 10:29. From Isolation Lake we continued north to the saddle between Mahana Peak and Isolation Peak. From the saddle, we headed directly west, up the steep rocky slope until we reached the ridge of Isolation Peak. We then followed the ridge southwest to the summit of Isolation Peak, reaching the top at 12:03. There was, not unexpectedly, no one at the top. The summit register tube contained only a ziplock bag with several loose pieces of paper. Stefan took a few pages from his pocket notebook, wrote our entry on it, and included that with the summit register pages. We left the summit at 12:27, this time heading straight down in the direction of Isolation Lake, treading lightly to avoid triggering a rockslide. As we neared Isolation Lake, we saw a lone hiker leaving the lake. This was the first person we saw on our hike today. From the lake, we retraced our steps back, passing over Pipit Lake and making it back down to the shore of Bluebird Lake, where we sat near the shore and had some water, but not taking the time for lunch because of an approaching thunderstorm. On the north shore of Bluebird Lake, the large rock that we sat on was metamorphic with very interesting igneous intrusion patterns on it, which we took a picture of. This rock, along with others near the shore, also had brown spherical nodules about the size of a quarter embedded in it. From Bluebird Lake, we returned the way we had come, stopping below treeline for lunch, and returning to the truck at 17:06. The total round trip time for this hike was 10 hours and 16 minutes.