Winter Rocky Mountain National Park Adventure Session – Matthew and Sabrina

Matthew and Sabrina came out to Colorado from Austin, Texas, to get married in our mountains! They had a beautiful wedding in Estes Park (stay tuned for pics from that!) but first we snuck in a quick winter Rocky Mountain National Park elopement style adventure session!

It takes a special kind of crazy couple to get up in the middle of the night, meet a near-stranger (hi, that’s me!) at a trailhead in the dark … in the Colorado mountains … in the DEAD OF WINTER. Fortunately, these two are that special kind of crazy!

We started heading up the trail as the sun just started peaking over the horizon, made a few wrong turns in the snow, and hustled uphill to the lake for sunrise. You guys, I spend a LOT of time in the Park and have hiked this particular lake so so so many times with my couples and the view and the way Hallett Peak gets lit up by the morning sun? It NEVER GETS OLD. Never.

We made it to the lake a few minutes before the sun turned the mountains pink and spent some time exploring the ice. Once that sun hit the mountain we got some of the prettiest and most intense alpenglow I’ve seen up there – and we made the most of it! For being early March (which is still very, very much winter in these parts!) it was a surprisingly calm and warm morning and basically the perfect way for me to start the day … and for them to start their wedding week!

One of the highlights of the day (aside from getting to meet and hang out with these guys before their wedding!) was playing around on the super cool, wavy ice that is currently covering the lake. The colors ranged from blue to black and you could see itty bitty air bubbles trapped deep down in the ice. They didn’t hesitate for a moment when I asked how they felt about laying down on the ice for some photos and damn, was it worth it!

When the sun was finally all the way up we began making our way back down to the trailhead … where they met their friends and family to hike BACK up there … and I headed home for a nap. 😉

I had a freaking blast with these guys at their adventure session and later that week at their wedding! Here are a few photos from our hike. Enjoy!

(And because I know I’m going to get asked, Matthew’s badass hat was custom made by Zito Hat Co and I can tell you that if and when I ever find myself in Austin I’m definitely going to see about getting a hat of my own!).