Monday, February 18, 2008

Thompson point 02.18.08

I was eager to get out today with the perfect weather coupled with what I expected to be great snow conditions. I wanted a rematch with The Ark aka Rooster Mt. high above Quartz Creek. I wasn't sure what the Middle Fork Road conditions were so I had two backup plans. I made it past the gated CC road but beyond that the snow was deeper than the Subaru's clearance. I found a spot to turn around. I passed on doing South Bessemer and instead made my way to Granite Lakes Road. On the way in I was very surprised to see two cars parked already at the start of the road. It wasn't even light yet. I know Revolution Peak was thrown around as a possible destination. I was hoping that maybe I might catch up with some fellow NWhikers. Of late I have been saddled with a chronic cough that I can't seem to kick. I find the cool weather seems to help so I wasn't concerned about it becoming worse. As I packed up I was wracked with the worst coughing fit ever which forced up my breakfast. I thought this to be a most auspicious start. Strangely after the fit I felt great. I sure didn't want to miss such a beautiful day so I was off. From the onset it was apparent that I didn't have any legs at all and with the long expected trip I didn't hold much hope of making any summit. I changed to snowshoes around 3500ft. I finally caught the people in front of me who had pitched a tent in the middle of the road. The wind was blowing at least 30mph which seemed to make it an even stranger spot to camp. The couple had two dogs so my two greeted them with wagging tails. One of the campers was standing outside his tent and when I waved he didn't respond. I could see from 25 yards that he was enraged with me. Evidently he was uber pissed because my dogs would have the audacity to use the road. I was shocked that anyone on such a beautiful day could be so angry over something that in my mind was so trivial. I jetted past him as we exchanged further unpleasantries. Not letting this episode ruin my day I found some extra energy and pressed on. I followed the road until it reached a immense snow chute. After seeing some decent avalanches on the opposite side of the valley I decided to skip the road and make my way directly to the summit. The snow ranged from rock hard to some areas that were soft. I did break out the ice axe just to be safe. Soon I reached the old cabin on the ridge that was being buffeted with some very strong winds. In fact the wind had ripped half the roofing off the South side. One piece was loose and was making so much noise flapping in the wind it mad it less than desirable to stay. I snapped a few pictures and then made my way down. The snow had softened considerably and made for a tedious decent. Soon I could see the campers below me following my tracks up. Part of me wanted to continue our most unpleasant conversation. I instead angled away from them rejoining my route further East. The way out was long but soon enough I was back at the car.

Approx 15 miles 4400ft of climb 7:45 car to car

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