First alpine lake adventure of 2014 for me in the books. The dog (Patch) and I are happy to be back in the mountains after what seemed like a long winter. Or perhaps it was me thinking about getting into the mountains all winter that made it seem longer. Whatever it may be, I knew I wanted to day-hike it up to Stewart Lake (10, 232 feet), and that’s exactly what I did. Just past the turnoff of Winsor Trail, I was met with snow. The final ascent on the Skyline Trail proved a bit challenging. Soft snow on the northeast slope made for a mile of waist deep post-holing. The demanding hike was worth the effort. I didn’t see any other visible footprints in the snow at Stewart Lake. Perhaps I was the first person to Stewart Lake for 2014.