Monday, February 26, 2007

Green Mt. 2.26.07

I had planned this trip earlier this week and in retrospect I probably should have changed to another destination. With the heavy snows this week I knew I would be in for a grind. The plan was to park at the gate on the Middle Fork Road that is a few miles past the crossing of the Middle Fork. This road is often used to access South Bessemer Mt. I have been on this road many times but I had never turned down valley(left). The road is washed out and you must ford the creek. There are two more major washouts within a mile. Both are most impressive, I sure wouldn't have wanted to be anywhere near it when it occurred. The plan was to use Green Mt.'s East ridge to reach the summit. I left the CCC Road just after the last creek crossing and made my way up . The ridge is not very defined early but gains definition as you make your way up. The going was mostly open and you can circumnavigate most of the brush. There are many huge cedar stumps along the way. I can only guess that they were helicoptered out decades ago when they were cut down. Most of the stumps have notches chopped into them for the use of springboards. The snow started at around 2200ft and increased markedly as I climbed. At 3000ft I reached a old logging road that I just crossed. I was initially excited to see a nice snowcovered talus field just above the road. I was very limited on time and I figured this would expedite things greatly. The talus turned out to be more of a boulder field. I think this had mostly melted out prior to this weeks snow. The heavy snow made for a mine field of suckerholes. The pitch also increased aggravating the situation. I floundered my way another 200ft of climb before I decided that I had enough. The beagle had some trouble as well but as usual he found his way. I was expecting some inclement weather but I was treated to some calm dry weather. I snapped some pictures and than butt glissaded back to the old road. After reentering the forest Tanner was off. I am used to the Beagle's escapades but Tanner usually stays close. I had quite the quandary on what to do. I decided to continue the descent calling for the dog at every opportunity. After nearly making it back to the CCC road (45 minutes) I was rejoined by my wayward pet. The rest of the way back was uneventful. I think this route would be rather quick under different conditions. There were some work crews working on the MFR and it is in much better shape than just two weeks ago. I stopped at the new school and was able to see Green Mt.'s East ridge and was clearly able to see the boulder field where I stopped.

Approx 7 miles 2300ft of climb and 5:30 car to car

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