I left Ryan to start his hike and I drove around to the trailhead at Lake Helen. That is when I noticed the Trail Hazardous signs and the warnings that the trail was supposed to be closed because of the heavy snow. I had no idea if Ryan would be seeing signs like these at the lower elevations....he was hiking up from about 6,500 ft. I was a little leery to start the 3 mile hike, but the trail from the parking lot was well trod and pretty busy. Families with small children and grandparents were coming back from the trek, so I figured that it couldn't be too bad! Ryan would have another story to tell from his end of the hike.
He did eventually meet with me in the trailhead parking lot....but our estimates of how long the hike would take were off completely! The heavy snows made for slow going. We each had hiking poles which were a great help and my only regret is that I did not have my YakTrax with me for better traction.
On the way back to the parking lot, I encountered a Marmot along the trail.