Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Teanaway Ridge 3.16.10

I had been monitoring both the weather and avy conditions all week trying to get a trip that would go. Thankfully the avy conditions lessened enough to give me lots of options. After enjoying a balmy 66 degree day on Monday I could feel the winds of change. The forecast looked like the rain and wind would hold out until the afternoon giving me some hope. After the wind kicked up in the evening I was sure that the rain would arrive early. Yet when I awoke it was warm calm and dry. I picked up Bruce in Preston and had a debate on where to go. I had hoped to try for Cleveland but I was unsure if the weather would hold out long enough for that. The clincher was when Bruce asked me about my other attempts for Cleveland and why I hadn't been successful. My reply was it was that it pouring out. To that his reply was maybe we shouldn't do that. So East it was. I had been looking over the quads and noticed that I hadn't done Teanaway Ridge 4943' so there it was. The weather was actually cold when we reached the Iron Creek/Hovey Creek junction off of HY 97. Shortly after the sun peeked over the trees it warmed considerably and remained dry and windless for the entire day. We booted up the Hovey creek road passing one junction and then reached a second one that matched my map. Heading up the road started going the wrong direction so I led us up through the freshly logged area for 300' of climb until I saw another road beneath us. Thinking this surely must be the right road we gave up some hard earned elevation to reach the road. I then decided that that didn't look right either. We started off cross country for a short way before I decided thigh deep snow in a recent logged area didn't suit me. Becoming frustrated I led us back to the Hovey Creek Road for plan B. We walked the road until we reached a junction where the main line had been bermed to keep motorized traffic from continuing. The spur heading to our right looked interesting because it didn't appear on my map. We followed this to it's end. The area above us was open and mostly snow free. It was somewhat steep and the footing was soft and loose but it afforded quick elevation gain. We quickly reached the ridgeline just West of 4002'. We climbed a short steep snow slope to reach a well defined ridgeline which we followed towards the day's goal. After pushing through a short area of brush we reached some open slopes for the last 300' to the summit. While 4943' is a nice seat for regional views the tree cover prevents easy viewing. I managed to contort myself to catch some clear views through the branches of the trees. We had a quick lunch and didn't waste much time making it back to the car in less than 90 minutes. After being pounded by wind and rain on the ride home I was thankful to take Bruce's advice and head East. We surely would have had a miserable time West of the crest..

Approx 7 miles 2300' of climb with detours 5:15 car to car

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