Monday, November 9, 2009

MIssion Peak 11.09.09

After reading some posts for hikers looking for mid week partners I spent the week PM'ing to try to get a group trip out. The weather wasn't cooperating and I was back to going solo. After a speedy recovery from a cold I was happy to have like2thruhike to sign on. After a 7am meeting we piled into the Subaru and were off. I was delighted that it was dry going over both Snoqualmie and Blewett saving some time. I had considered leaving the dogs at home because Tanner had a split nail and was open and not healing in the least. I was forced to super glue it together earlier in the week and it seemed like it would be a go. After packing up I let the dogs out and immediatlely the nail broke open and for the first time was bleeding. I had for once thought ahead and brought another tube of super glue and thankfully it became a non issue. Since I had been in the area before and I figured the snow coverage would be sparse I wanted to avoid the basalt fields that I remembered from the Northern approach. I really didn't want to spend alot of time on rocks with sketchy snow coverage. Instead I thought it would go to use the access roads for the ski slopes to gain the ridge. I had hoped to first summit Wenatchee Mt. and then traverse to Mission Peak. Since Mission Peak was my primary goal I decided to do that first instead. Just before reaching the ridge we dropped pack and layered up. Since we were on the East side we had been sheltered from the wind. I had a strong suspicion that once on the ridge the winds might be intense. After a short slippery traverse we reached the ridge and were greeted with strong gusty winds. Thankfully we both had taken eye protection because it was doubtful we would have been able to continue with out. There appears to be a trail on the broad ridge and soon we crested a small high point. Since visablitliy was limited I broke out the GPS and were were 40' short of our needed elevation. We dropped to another saddle and climbed the remainder to Mission Peak's summit. I was thankful that we were on the summit because the winds seemed even stronger and we couldn't see what was ahead to the North. Thankfully once scrutinizing the maps I am confident we indeed on the true summit. We had seen lots of worker's on the way up prepping the slopes for the upcoming season. Thankfully every one was pleasant. It was new for me to see a handful of fans hooked to hoses actually making snow. There were a few immense slag piles burning as well on the way up, which again was a surprise to me. We took a slightly different route on the way down and it seemed to take twice as long for the descent. I was thankful to have some good company and enjoyed hearing about the trials of thru hiking our country's great major trails. Even though the weather didn't allow any views it more than made up for with allowing me to feel it's strength. A great day to be out.

Approx 8 miles 2500' of climb 4:30 car to car

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