Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Low Mt 11.20.07

With the shorter days I was looking for something close and with the predicted nice weather something off trail. I met up with fellow NWhiker Bryan and we made our way through a heavy drizzle to the Denny Creek Trailhead. I was quite shocked that there was no snow on the road at all and until we made the second crossing over Denny Creek it was not consistent. This was my third attempt at Low Mt. #72 on the HC/100, so I was pretty deadset at making a successful summit bid. The plan was to leave trail at around 3500ft just after the top of the switchbacks. I had hoped that the brush would be buried by snow, too bad for us it was just enough to make the brush bash extra slippery. After reaching the small basin that is clearly seen on the map I had planned on climbing the Northern shoulder but since we were on the South side I decided to keep on that line. The brush for the most part abated and the snow deepened making travel much quicker and much more pleasureable. We dropped pack at around 4800ft and made our way to the ridgeline. After reaching the ridge we turned due North with the added bonus of some warm sunshine. As we reached the summit it was a nice boulder field with less than desireable snow coverage. There were plenty of voids to avoid but with a little patience it was no problem. I crested the summit only to realize the true summit was still a ways off looking quite foreboding. We picked our way down to the saddle and climbed steeply to the true summit. I tagged the summit and retreated to let Bryan do the same. The views came and went I was sad not to see to the West which I am sure would be some nice views of the multitude of lakes that dot the area. I had some concern for the descent because of the slippery layer of ice under the snow. With a little care we decended remaining upright. This route is very effecient but I would recommend to wait until there is more snow coverage on the lower slopes. All in all it was a great day spent with some good company.

Approx 6miles 3200ft of climb 5:30 car to car

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