Monday, March 26, 2007

Serpetine Hill 3.26.07

Since I missed last week I was very eagerly anticipating today's climb. I had planned on climbing Cleveland Mt. and Easter Peak (Pt. 5326) via Easter Peak's East Ridge. The plan was to park at the West Fork Miller River Road and walk approximately .25 miles and leave the road. I have read a report that states the going is fairly straightforward. I wanted to reach the Easter/Cleveland saddle and then turn north to summit Cleveland and then retrace my steps to the saddle and then continue South to Easter Peak. When I reached Monroe I knew my day would be in jeopardy. The cloud cover was the nice dark gray shade that denotes some very heavy rain/snow showers. I reached my parking area and was treated to some heavy rainshowers. I continued on the Miller river road just to see how far I could drive. It is possible to drive about two miles past the bridge over the West Fork Miller River. There is a small blowdown that needs to be cut out and there is solid snow beyond it. I returned to my parking spot and waited 20 minutes to see if maybe I would be lucky and only having a passing shower. When the rain only increased I made my way back to Hy 2 hoping to get some cell reception so I could call in for a change of plans. I gave some thought just to return to home but I really needed to stretch my legs. The weather seemed to lighten up so I decided to try for Cleveland the more traditional logging road route. I have been up this road several times and it always seems to be an unpleasant walk. The road has many streams running on the roadbed making for some tricky snow. I found myself having to wind my way up the road doing my best to miss any of the voids in the snow. The joys of spring climbing! I was able to drive about .75 miles on the road and probably could have made it to the end of the first switch back had I pressed the issue. The weather was vastly improved as I made my way up. I didn't switch to snowshoes until around 3000ft. I followed the road until it's end. Here I left the road and climbed steeply trying to reach the Saddle between the closed contour at 4400ft and the ridgeline I hoped to use. After reaching a level bench at around 4100ft I reached my turnaround time. At this point the snow started coming down with some purpose and coupled with some gusty winds made for some fun conditions. I butt glissaded my way back to the road making sure to miss the small trees dotting the slope. I slogged my way back to the car making it back faster than expected allowing me a drive up the Money Creek Road. I was able to circumvent a road closed sign and was stopped by snow at around 1700ft.








Approx 11 miles 3000ft of climb and 6:30 Car to Car

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