Tuesday, February 1, 2005

Commenwealth Basin 2.1.05

I had much loftier goals for today, but I found it hard to drag myelf out of bed. When I finally managed to get up I had a few things to do before I could leave. A change of plans was in order. I scrambled to think of something closer. I haven't been up Commenwealth basin in years, so I thought it would be perfect. I was suprised to find the road to the PCT parking lot to be fully snowed. I luckily had the Fore-Runner so I tried to go up the road and had some success until the road became a bit steeper. I decided it to be more prudent to park then risk becoming stuck. I backed down to the main road only to find nowhere to park legally. I decided that I would mearly back up onto the snowy road and risk being ticketed. I have quite the penchant for parking tickets, but never seem to have to pay any of them. I was off I followed the road to the northern parking lot that is for horses. When I passed the lower parking lot I saw one truck that was stuck and seems to have been that way for quite some time and one other car. I left the parking lot on the NE corner and followed a fairly well worn snowhoe track. The path was easily to follow and was only moderately cursed with fall throughs. The creek crossing was quite easy the water was below boot level my feet thankfully stayed dry. I continued on until around 4200ft where my late 2:00 starting time came into play. I was not enamored with the idea of walking out with a headlamp on so I decided to turn around. The weather was sunny and beautiful, with some nice views of Red Mtn. in the fading sunlight. For the most part the descent went quickly, I continued on the trail until it intersects with the PCT instead of using the spur that goes to the upper parking lot. I would recommend using the upper parking lot trail which is much easier with the present conditions. When I reached the lower parking lot there were two men trying to extricate their car. I offered to help but they were quite sure it was stuck. Their plan was to have it towed. I was quite thankful I had not made the same mistake of driving all the way in. As a bonus I was not ticketed in the time I had been gone.

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