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Camping Log

Minotaur Lake

Departure: June 6, 2015
Return: June 7, 2015
Total Nights: 1
Elevation Change: 1800 ft.
Distance: 1.5 miles (each way)

Minotaur Lake was a short 1.5 miles hike. The catch was that it was all uphill. 1800 feet of elevation change from the trailhead to the lake. The trailhead started not far from Steven Pass. We took a forest dirt road into the mountains from Highway 2. This dirt road snaked through the mountains for 7 miles until we arrived to the trailhead.

 At the trailhead, our elevation was approximately 3800 ft. We put our packs on our shoulders and started to hike upwards. We knew this was going to be a short hike and we kept a brisk pace eager to get to the top. This did not lasted long. The steep slope and the effects of elevation reminded us that we needed to slow down and pace ourselves. It took us about 2.5 hours from the trailhead to Minotaur Lake. This climb seemed at times like it was never going to level off. Every time you looked at the trail ahead all you could see was the hillside going up. Then suddenly, un-expectantly we reached the top and the trail flattened out and found yourselves at Minotaur Lake.

At this point you forget about the arduous climb and find yourself in awe of the landscape. This alpine lake is at 5600 ft. of elevation surrounded by high peaks with Labyrinth Mountain being the highest in the background.

We setup camp on the eastern bank of the lake. This was a ridge that separates Minotaur Lake and Theseus Lake. Theseus sites about 400 ft. below us on a very steep slope. The view was breathtaking.

After setting up camp, some jumped into the lake for a short swim. Yes we can underline the word short because the water was extremely cold. You can see on the photo slideshow that there was some snow patches left, and one side of the lake had a thin layer of ice. Ice + snow = cold water. We also spotted a dead Deer submerged in the water which had probably died during the winter and the carcass probably moved down into the lake with the snow melt.

Three of the scoutmasters went ahead and climbed Labyrinth Mountain for a day trip. This was another 0.5 miles to the peak with another elevation change of 700 ft. At 6320 ft. the views from the top of Labyrinth Mountain were spectacular 360 degree panoramas.

At camp, the new scouts learned how to tie a bear bag to protect their food from critters and other larger animals. They also had hands-on experience in the field on how to use their cooking equipment, water filtration and an introduction to basic use of compass.

On the way back to our vehicles the journey was also challenging but in a different way. We did not had put up with a hard climb. Instead we had to put up with a steep descend! All in all it was a great trip with a great workout.

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