Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Bluebirds on Snoqualmie Mt., 6278'

Of late I haven't had much time to dedicate to climbing but the stars lined up with stable snow conditions, perfect weather, good company and most importantly a full day to devote to my mountain escapades. I really wanted to do WildDare via Dingford Creek but Rob and Fletcher wanted some South facing slopes to ensure some quality time with the warm sun. I was disappointed because I was kind of set on doing WildDare and I had already done Snoqualmie. I am completely selfish when it come to picking trips, I will do any trip as long as it is what I want to do. Trying to be more accommodating I relented and went with the majority. As it turns out it was a perfect choice for this day.  Since the climbers trail is efficient we pushed back our meet time 90 minutes. We left Issaquah under dirty fog. Soon after passing North Bend the sun broke out and remained unbroken for the entire day. In fact a fairly strong inversion made the upper slopes of Snqoqualmie rather warm, a nice bonus.

  We parked at the Alpental parking lot as another solo was suiting up to do Chair peak, too cool. The dog seemed more interested in following him and I had to run after and thankfully was able to retrieve the dog. I found a nice boot path so we left the shoes in the car. The trail went to a nice sledding slope and I used this for efficient climbing. I traversed to climber's right to find the boot bath that was going our way. The trail was easy to follow but there wasn't a huge amount of travel but it did help with route finding.

The views started to open up

The going was steep and I really didn't have the legs or this climb. I was very thankful for my partners being patient as I slowly plodded along. We finally reached a junction with the majority of traffic traversing to the pass just North of Guye Peak. I followed a single track heading up the ridge that would take us to our destination. The going was steep so we all put on crampons although they probably not a necessity. Once leaving the trees the snow softened considerably slowing progress. The views kept improving.

I really struggled on the last part. Since I had already been on the summit I had a tough time keeping myself motivated but in the end I kept chugging along and I was proud of myself for pushing through a weak minded day. Thankfully the summit came into view. It did seem the Western point was the highest so I forced myself to make my way there despite my legs complaining.

I was  concerned for the descent because portions had been steep and icy on the ascent. I was thankful that there was some sun to warm the snow. But as is some things go too much isn't a good thing. The snow on the less steep portions was very soft and many postholes were enjoyed by all.

The descent went exceedingly quick and much to my pleasure we all reached the car with out issues.

Approx 5 miles 3300' of climb 5:30  car to car

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