Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Big Chief 12.2.08

With the shorter days and my inablility to get up early I was forced into something shortish. As it turns out it was a perfect trip. I wasn't able to get to sleep last night making me quite groggy this morning. I actually had to pull off Hy 2 and sleep for 30 minutes to avoid driving off the road. When I awoke I felt much better but the steady rain had stiffened making me want to turn around and go home. I decided to check out the snow conditions to satisfy my curiosity. I was shocked to see that there was very little snow. In fact there was much more open areas without snow than with snow. I forced myself to at least suit up and magically the rain stopped. I made my way up the PCT without issue making the pass between Steven's Pass Ski Area and The Mill Creek Road. At the pass I hung a left and followed the ridge. The ridge was bare in spots and had deep snow in others. The areas of deep snow was mushy and made for some slow going. I reached the most Eastern chairlift and hid beneath it to shelter myself from the substantial wind. I continued on the South side of the ridge and made my way through the easy traverse to 5675'. Once I crested 5675' it was an easy drop to the saddle and much easier than expected climb to Big Chief's summit. I didn't linger because of the strong winds. The way out was easy and soon I was back to the car.

Approx 7 miles 2500' of climb 4 hours car to car

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