Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Elbow Mt 5.17.05

I had hoped to do a big loop by leaving my bike at the trail 1222 trailhead and then driving to the Middle Fork Trail. I wanted to summit Jolly Mt. via this route and run the ridge back to the bike climbing Humerus Hill and Elbow Pk along the way.After doing a bit of research trail 1393 crosses the Middle Fork, I don't like crossing rivers this time of year more so since there had been heavy rains in the area the previous day. I decided that I would just run the ridge to Jolly Mt and come out the same way. The spur road that leads to the 1222 trailhead has been dug out preventing all but high clearance vehicles from continuing on. Last year I had made it over with out any problems so I figured I wouldn't have any problems this year. I thought the berm looked a little more substantial than last year so I decided to take a look before trying to go over. Lucky I did this because the I would have most cerainly been high centered had I tried. There is room to go around but I became stuck and thought all was lost. I managed to rock the truck out and decided not to tempt fate by trying again. I just parked which added 1200ft of road climb to make it to the trailhead. 15 minutes up the road I spotted a black bear just 25 yards ahead on the road. Lucky for me the dogs didn't see the bear and we crossed paths without incident. The ridge trail sees alot of motorcycle traffic but is in fairly good shape. The ridge trail humps and bumps its way to Elbow Peak. As I reached the summit of Elbow Pk. the weather changed quite quickly dropping at least 20 degrees and it started hailing in earnest. Since it was warm and sunny at the trailhead I had dumped my pack of most of my warmer clothes. I now couldn't see any of the neighboring peaks and the wind was kicking up and I was becoming quite cold despite the many layers I pieced together. I certainly didn't want to get caught out in a rainstorm so I hightailed it to the truck, making it out just before the rain set in. There is very little water on this trail and there is much more elevation gain than you might expect.

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