Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Fool's Day 5203' 428'P


Fool's Day is the unofficial name of the highpoint that can be accessed by French Cabin Creek Road. While it is high enough to be ranked on the Home Court 100 it lacks less than 75' feet of prominence to meet the 500' prominence rule. I had hoped to do something again this week off the Middle Fork  of the Snoqualmie but I was concerned with the snow conditions. While the amount of snow wasn't too concerning  I was more worried about some of the high ridge top winds that had been observed recently. I wasn't crazy on trying to surmount some wind laden slopes. I figured Fool's Day would be perfect because the actual climb was on  low angled ridge bolstered by the cover of trees. After many emails back in forth I was left with only one taker. Evidently I didn't scare away Nvoit on our foray up Lennox 2 weeks ago. I picked him up in Preston and with a very squeaky wheel we were off. The Middle Fork did a number last week on the trusty Subaru and I think I may have wedged a rock between the caliper and rotor causing every deceleration to have a very loud squeak. Thankfully it goes away when accelerating or at high speeds so it was soon forgotten. We parked at the end of the plowed French Cabin Creek Road and I took way too long suiting up with some new gear that needed adjustments. The road was well packed which letting us make quick work of the 3 miles to our jump off point. We took a right at the major intersection and went a couple hundred yards before leaving the road. I wasn't quite sure what to expect off the packed road but I was pleasantly surprised that the snow held my weight allowing me to leave the snowhoes initially stowed on my pack. The ridge itself is open and we were able weave our way through the second growth without much hindrance. The snow on the lower slopes was very icy and was hard to get much bite on the rock hard snow.                                                                                                                                                                  


 Since there wasn't much in the way and the snow conditions made for a quick ascent we were making very good time. Once around 4500' I took over trailbreaking and I added snowshoes to aid in the 12' of powder. As the ridge rises the grade lessens making the parts in the open more of a chore with the deeper settled snow. Once back in the trees the pace quickened and the last push to the summit was somewhat steeper but still nothing compared to some of the climbs that I have done recently. Soon the windswept ridge came into view which was the extent of the views for this day. I had guessed that it would take around 4 hours to make this summit but with the great conditions we were able to make it in less than 3. It did help that I had good legs today and all the hard work and weight loss is paying off.
We didn't linger too long on the summit because it was breezy and cold. I really enjoyed the descent because there was very little to think about the route was simple the conditions were great and gravity lent just enough help. I kept the snowshoes on for the entire descent making the icy portions much more manageable. We were able to drop the 2000' back to the road in 45 minutes which was about what I expected. The road walk seemed longer than the way in but it was sure nice to finish this week with an easy walk in the building snow showers. I had hoped for an easier day today but I almost feel guilty because it was too easy. Another great day out with some fun company.

Approx 10 Miles 3100' of climb 4:45 car to car

4 comments:

  1. Do you only post to get hits on your page? I see you have advertising.

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  2. No I post links so that people are aware of my site and utilize the content for their own benefit.

    ReplyDelete
  3. cool post... can you recommend any winter hikes that don't have snow besides boulder river? thanks

    ReplyDelete
  4. hey is this the hike we did last year?

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