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I've always thought the Loch was one of the most dramatic, beautiful lakes in the park, but we had only been in the summer/fall.  When Kristin asked us to hike with her, Jordan & Katie the day before our big hike to Haiyaha the next day, we jumped at the chance to hang out with her & her kids -- even tho we had to admit to being just a little apprehensive after hearing that the winter trail we planned to hike was much steeper than the summer trail (which is plenty steep in its own right for a stretch).  It follows the river, but the last leg of that "river", before you ascend to the lake, is. . . well. . . something to behold!  But ohmygoodness is it ever worth it.  It is absolutely breathtaking!!   Now, Kristin, she is wonder woman on the trails.  She summitted Pike's Peak on foot in one day (26+ miles and a million feet of elevation gain :), so nothing's too hard for her; but luckily, her kids are more mortal, and enjoyed stopping for air about as often as we were needing to stop ourselves (Thank you, Jordan & Katie!!)  I will say, tho that when we came around that bend and saw that steeeeeeep last leg before us, even Wonder Woman let out a "Holy Cow, that is brrrrutal !"  Did I say it was steep?  It was steeeeep!  But we made it.  And when that lake, surrounded by those beautiful rugged mountains towering over it appeared before our eyes: all I can say is thanksgiving and praise flowed out from the bottom of my heart for the beauty God created, and allowed us the opportunity to work our butts off to see :)   "You are awesome, God!!!"

Every time I look at these pictures, it makes my heart a little (okay alot) homesick for those mountains in the snow, and for the friendships that made hiking them even better!!!!!