Monday, March 12, 2007

Old Pass Hill, Cairn Hill 3.12.07

I have felt like I have fallen short lately by not fully summitting. I wanted to assure myself success. I picked these easy summits to help make up some ground on my quest to climb The Home/Back Court 100. Most of the week I was concerned about the the poor weather and avy conditions. As the week progressed it steadily improved. I managed another early start and I parked at the snow park at the crest of Blewett Pass at just past 0800. I didn't realize it was a snow park area and I didn't have a pass. I decided to chance it. I walked in about .25 mile before noticing that Tanner was once again bleeding. This time it was bleeding quite heavily. Tanner had tore open a scab on one of his front legs. This was something I had to address. I dropped pack and returned to the car. I know that duct tape has at least 1000 uses so I added one to the mix. After wrapping his paw we were off. I had noticed that there was an outbuilding just a short ways in so I reparked the car carefully not to block anything. My thinking was that I was sure to get a ticket if I left my car where it was. I thought by moving it I wouldn't get a ticket but I might get it towed. Finally we were off. The road was mostly packed and soon I made it to my intersection( I went left ). The logging road passes directly under both my summits. This road had very strange snow. The snow had a mostly firm crust but when I would break through I would sink in some very low density snow. It made for some uncomfortable travel. I decided to make my was to Old Pass Hill first (pt 4885 #92 BC100). I took lefts at both intersections and then left the road to climb the last few hundred feet. The weather had improved greatly to this point and now was full on sun. I have to say it felt pretty good to soak up some good rays. The wind on the summit was howling so I retreated to a more sheltered area to enjoy a well deserved lunch. I had given some thought to continuing on the ridge to try for Roughhouse Mt. but with the strong winds and soft snow I wasn't really into the long ridge walk. I retraced my steps back to the road and made my way to my next objective. Soon I was at my jump-off point and was making my way up. I was happy to top out on a more sheltered summit of Cairn Hill(Pt 4745 #97 BC/100) There was 3 large cairns marking the summit with a summit register which I eagerly signed. On the downclimb I angled more to the North to try to cut off a little distance. The road seemed endless and after what seemed an eternity I reached the junction to the main road where the snow was thankfully much quicker. I had to laugh when I checked my watch to find that I had only done 1400ft of climb. It certainly was efficient use of my elevation gain. I thankully found my car without a ticket and hadn't been towed!

Approx 10 miles 1400ft of climb 5:30 car to car

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