Although I have not made much progress this year on my Winter 35, I had one last weekend to climb.
Drove up Friday evening, arrived about 10 PM. There was a house at the end of the
road with lights on, so I backtraced a bit until I found a secluded spot to park.
I brought Danny, a newly-adopted Border Collie, who had been with us just a week. He had apparently never slept in the car, and paced back and forth for a couple of hours before settling down to sleep.
In morning, we found two inches of fresh snow had fallen, but it was relatively warm -- probably in the high 30s. We drove up to the trailhead and set off in bare boots.
On the trail, snow was never more than a couple feet deep. There was a few inches of fresh snow over an icy base.
We arrived at peak in 3 hours, returned in 2 1/2.
|Trail Under Fresh Snow|
|The peak was socked in with thick clouds, so nothing was visible. We were in
clouds all the way up and most of the way down as well. The sky was visible only in
the last few minutes of the hike.
Conditions last 1/2 mile were very icy under the snow.
I fell on my face a few times, then put on Microspikes. I made it about 50
feet with these, before landing on my face a couple more times. This time I changed
into crampons and got relatively good traction on the ice under the snow. As it
turned out, this was about 1/3 mile from the peak, but I would not have made it without
the crampons, even if I had been willing to walk on handls and knees.
|Near Thomas Cole Peak|
|We met another hiker with dog going up while we were descending. I was surprised
to see anyone else on the trail, but I guess he knew about us from the tracks.
Tipp was pretty good going up, got less enthusiastic as we neared peak. He also was having trouble with his footing. But he pulled annoyingly on the way down.
|Danny's First Hike|
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