Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Taylor Mountain 2600' 11.29.11

With another hectic week I didn't have much time to get out. I decided that I would try something close with easy access. I really needed to get the pup our since of late he has been bouncing off the walls. I hastily threw some things together and headed to Tiger Summit. I parked near the gate that is just East of the pass. I was careful to hold on to the pup so that he wasn't tempted to bolt out on the highway. I followed the logging road that parallels the power lines until I reached a  nice spur that started climbing rather steeply. I followed this until I reached the ridgeline where the views to the West were better than expected.

   The road started a descent and I left the road cross country through some interesting terrian unitl I stumbled on a trail that ran along the watershed boundary. I walked over every bump along the way hoping to reach the highest point. I ended up following the trai for around a mile when I was satisfied that there were no higher points further along. I do wish I had continued further when inspecting my maps when I got home because I was most of the way to Brew Hill and knocking two scrub points off would have been nice. The weather started moving in with wind and a very light snow while I quickly made my way back to the car.

Approx 8 miles 1300' of climb 2 hours car to car.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Hall Point 2440' 11.15.11

I wanted something close to home because I couldn't leave early and the days are certainly becoming short. I haven't climb Change Peak which is sometimes called East Mt. Washington. In my research I found mention of a climbers trail that is not marked on the map. This seemed a perfect fit so I picked up Rob in Issy and we were off. The weather was benign and we even  managed some sun breaks. With the recent low elevation snow I was excited that we would need snowshoes. Too bad soMeonE left their snowshoes at home despite leaving themselves a note to remind them

  I had some issue getting us on route because I wasn't quite sure where the trail actually started. We ended up at the Mt Washington trailhead and forest service worker happened to pull up and gave us some precise instructions. This was a stroke of good fortune. We parked in the turnout just across from the Hall Creek crossing. I spied a worn track and we followed, we did find it easier if you start right at the concrete bridge abutment on the West side of Hall creek. The trail is steep but the going was made easier by the nice shallow layer of snow making for nice steps. Soon we reached a nice vista and the trail continues on up. We were debating on the way up if we should change our destination and stay on the ridge line since the snow cover we hoped would be shallower and the distance shorter. I didn't think we would make our goal doing a road walk without both having snowshoes. We  reached a junction with the our intended road that leads to the small pond at the head of the valley and also continues along the ridge. We decided to keep climbing and quickly reached Hall Pt. which is a nice regional viewpoint.

  We started traversing the ridge which was reasonable and soon reached J's Landing. I headed East and found a reasonable route back to the ridge and Rob went West and ran into a logging spur. We decided to head on the logging spur head to our original goal. the road was choked with alder laden with snow making for annoying travel. Finally Rob put on his snowshoes and I followed in his tracks. Thankfully this made it easier for me. I was struggling breaking trail in the knee deep snow. It became apparent that we would not have enough time to make our goal with the slow going. We found a nice sunny spot to have lunch and debate our options. We decided it would be most reasonable to head back the way we had come, so that is what we did. I did find the descent tedious since the traction always looked suspect but in the end it was just fine. I would definitely try to do this trip as a loop using our route for the ascent and descending via the Mount Washington trail. Another nice day to be out.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Mount Margaret 5580' 11.8.11

 With an unexpected nice weather day I thought it best to take advantage. I wasn't looking for a long day just a day to get out and enjoy the new snow and sun. The road to the Mt Margaret trailhead was in fine shape and it was very good to drive the road instead of walking from the Sno-Park as I have done a few time in the past. On a previous trip I had climbed to the South Mt Margaret Peak and we decided to turn back due to some inclement weather. The road was an easy walk and I left the road for the maintained trail that leads to Twin Lakes. The footing in the shallow snow was great and made for some pleasant walking. Soon I reached the cover of standing trees which were doing the best to bomb me with melting snow. Thankfully once further into the trees this annoyance ended.

Soon the Junction with the Lake Margret trail came up. Instead of heading to the ridge as I had done on my previous attempt I stayed on the trail bypassing the Southern Summit. After hitting an open area I started up off trail heading for the saddle between the two peaks. The going was easy at first but higher up the snow was less than adequate paired with the frozen duff made for slow going. If there had been any exposure I would have had to add crampons since every step was suspect. Once on the ridge line the going was easier and I soon found myself on the summit. The views had now evaporated into a bank of low lying clouds which was a disappointment since I had hoped for some nice views. I backtracked to a small flat area where I had lunch and enjoyed the warm sun.

A very nice short jaunt out.

Approx 7 miles 3:45 car to car 2000' of climb

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