Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Lizard Lake, Pt. 4120'+

With the benign weather holding out I was set for another day out. It looked like I would have a nice team so I hatched a plan to do Arrowhead via the less trodden West ridge. Slowly members of the team dropped out until in the end I was the only one remaining. I didn't feel like trying for Arrowhead solo so I decided to decide on the way. I had only a few maps loaded into my new phone so I had a short list to work from. I was in the mood for something with very little route finding and a low amount of trailbreaking. I had a map of Dandy Mt. which is just above Stampede Pass and this would provide some miles mostly on groomed snowmobile tracks. I parked outside of the fee area near where the road has been blocked by piled snow. I suited up with the temps in the low teens, thankfully there wasn't much wind.

   I left the road and cut the switch backs using a nice snowmobile track.. Soon I reached Stampede Pass. I left the road at the intersection diving into the trees. The snow was highly variable with some heavy rain crust and some areas of deep powder. Leaving the snowshoes in the car started to come back to bite me as the snow was made for annoying travel. Soon my objective came into view and I was off line, in order to work my ways back on the right path I would have to drop some elevation and make my way through a wide area of softer snow. Not feeling it I instead kept climbing in the direction I was heading finding more favorable snow conditions. I topped out on a small point and had lunch.

  I quickly descended back to the road and followed it over Stampede Pass and on to Lizard Lake. The road gives great access to the lake and it was locked with ice for the season. There were numerous snowmobile tracks across the lake. Looking forward to getting home early I made my way the 4.5 miles back to the car.  It was good to stretch the legs a bit and give the dog a nice run.

Approx 10 miles 4 hours car to car 2000' of climb
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