Conundrum hot springs & valley 2004 photos

All photos are copyright by Evan Ravitz and for sale. Nonprofit use is free if credit is given. Email: evan (at)

The following are 2004 images. You can see more recent photos in my many Conundrum galleries on Picasa 

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One night I was the only human up there, and this buck was bold.

Susan and Mark and their rubber duckie.

On the first day of summer 2004 it snowed an inch.

Conundrum is probably the highest hot springs in North America at 11,200'. If you know of a higher one, let me know!

Glen bravely went to fetch stuff from his camp.

The Conundrum valley from its western edge -my favorite meditation spot.

Airplane cloud soaring over the red mountain, elevation 13,550'.

Alvin the fearless chipmunk, terror of my garbage bag.

Kudos to my Pentax Optio 555 digital camera. It was about the best compact for  backpacking in 2004. Now I have  a Panasonic LX3 and a FZ18, with Leica lenses. The LX3 is said to be the best-quality compact  ever.

Solitary bather from across the creek.

Back up on the 13,300' western edge of the valley. The Maroon Bells look quite different from here.

This little bird wandered up to the springs, disoriented.

The black mountain, elevation 13,537'.

Castle Peak at left, the highest edge of the valley, at 14,265'.

At right is Castlebra, 13,803'.

Cathedral Peak, 13,943', from above the lake, my favorite spot.

When no people are around the deer and marmots, etc. come down to lick the salt deposited by the springs.

Along the animal trail to the lake, the remnants of a bobcat kill. I saw a bobcat further up the trail, but too far away to photograph.

Looking West over the edge of the Conundrum valley into East Maroon valley.

"Elephant Head" flowers.

Deer on the animal trail to the lake. Hilliard Peak behind.

The snow reminds me of the iconic image "Compassionate Eyes of the Buddha."

A fallen baby bird.

Mother fox near her den by my friends' place above Aspen.

And her kit.

The beautiful lake at 12,300' with ice just breaking up.

The lake later in the season, Conundrum, Castle & Castlebra peaks behind.

Castlebra and the red mountain.

The cold spring entering the lake.

Marnie the marmot lives just above the springs.

The moon rises from the clouds to the right.

Moonrise over the cold spring and lake.

This is how it looks later.

On full auto, the flash plus time exposure makes it look like day.

A happy medium.

A pika peaks out.

Every clear evening in the pool climaxed with the alpenglow:

Pray to Dog.

Rainbow over Aspen's popular pop-jet fountain.

Another day of rain, Hilliard Peak in the background.

Views of the gorgeous red mountain, 13,550'.

After rains rockfalls are often audible. This is a rare visible one, falling over 600'.

Stephan, age 70, a mountain guide, near the lake.

Atop Coffeepot Pass, gateway from the Conundrum valley to Twin Lakes and Teocali Peak

On the way you encounter a tarn with long-lasting snow.

Twin Lakes, in the valley south of Conundrum valley.

Teocali Peak hovers over Crested Butte. It's about 5 hours hike from the hot springs.

Town of Crested Butte, from Teocali Peak.

From Teocali, looking back at Twin Lakes and Castle Peak.

Wetlands by the lake, in spring and summer.

The rest of this gallery is clouds. Invent your own captions.

The color saturation is turned way up for these two.

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