Tuesday, April 24, 2012

10-4 Mountain NE Ridge

  After last week's washout I was enthused with the recent nice weather. As it has been lately the weather didn't hold until I could get out. I have been working a lot lately and I finally had a day off and I wanted to get out regardless of the less than stellar weather forecasted. I had hoped on getting up early and attacking a Home Court Peak I hadn't done yet but I wasn't able to get up early enough for that. I thought I could squeeze a rematch of last week's attempt at 10-4 Mountain. I quickly made it up Forest Road #62 and parked at the junction just past the concrete bridge just past the 4 mile mark. It was very foggy/cloudy but at least it was not raining. I knew I had to keep a tidy pace to ensure making it home in time. I did the best to push the pace. Just after crossing Duffy Creek on a nice new bridge I hit snow. Thankfully the snow was firm enough to forgo snowshoes.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Duffy Creek a Gortex test 4.18.12

   I have been getting the short stick on weather of late but last week was a nice day. Unfortunately I was saddled with a cold bad enough to make me watch 8 episodes of Deadliest Catch in a row..... on a sunny day. I decided to try to work on Wednesday only because I was leaving the next day for a family vacation/memorial in the Spring Break hot spot of Minnesota. I barely made it through my shift without killing someone and awoke a few short hours later to shuttle the family to the airport before the sun was even up. This didn't exactly help my cold but at least I wasn't at work. Thankfully the flight with the kids went well and we efficiently were picked up and taken to our spacious abode for the next 4 nights. I am glad that the rooms were spacious since I spent most of the time in either in bed or the bathroom. In addition to my cold which was improving I added the  pleasure of  a gastoral issue that added to my joy.  Despite the bi-polar weather we all had a great time and were able to make it back into one piece. I had one more day of vacation on Tuesday which of course was the better weather day but I didn't want to get up early and I had evening plans. I put off my hike until Wednesday despite the weather forecast and that I had to work in the evening.

    I was able to get up well before my alarm that was set for 0600 and was off shortly thereafter. I wasn't looking for an overly challenging day since I did have to work and I was still a bit dehydrated from my weekend. I had some good beta for 10-4 mountain and some tracks to follow so I thought it a worthy pursuit for this day. I was able to make it to my jump off point just as the rain started. I suited up and started down the logging road towards my objective. I had been up this road twice this year and I could hardly recognize it despite being on it only a few weeks ago. Logging operations are in full effect and since I don't hike on the weekend I was force to dodge numerous logging truck and other assorted machinery. The rain only increased as I made my way to the saddle between 10-4 and Haystack Mountain. Once I reached the snow at around 2500' I really started to lose my enthusiasm. I pushed on .  I resisted the idea of putting my snowshoes on since the snow wasn't real consistent. When I reached the bridge over Duffey Creek I stopped and assessed my options. The rain was relentless and I didn't have the will to spend 4 more hours slogging through it. As I debated the sun started to burn through the clouds which curiously only made the rain increase. This dance continued as the sun grew in strength in tandem with the intensity of the rain. I thought this surely was a sign that the sun would win and I slapped my snowshoes on. A scant half mile later the snow ran out and the rain increased and was paired with a biting wind. I took this as a sign that this wasn't in my best interest to continue. The weather continued to deteriorate until I had safely passed the point of changing my mind and then the sun came out and I had a pleasant walk back to the car. I was thankful to have some time to spend with the family and to take care of some pressing issues on the home front. I had a stellar night at work making me think that I had made some good decisions on this day.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Mt Washington 4.3.12

I had a small window of time so I wanted something close. I had hoped to make my way up to Change Peak since I hadn't climbed it before. I had hoped to take advantage of the trench laid by a fellow climber. I had read the dire forecast for the deluge that was forecasted but when I got up it was pleasant and better yet dry. I had a few obligations to attend to and by the time I was ready to leave the downpour had arrived. I fully expected and was prepared to get soaked, but since the weather had cooled so drastically I held out the hope that I would be able to hit snow short order. It was raining as I suited up at the trailhead but as soon as I started out it stopped and stayed that way for the entire day. In fact it was downright pleasant out. I guess the old adage " you never know until you try" holds true.

   It has been some time since I did any real climbing so I wasn't overly optimistic to make any blazing times. When I reached the junction for Change Peak I started a short ways up only to be rebuked by the deep heavy snow. After floundering a short ways I decided the pounded trench to Washington would be much more enjoyable and for me doable. I plugged away until I reached the dreaded steep portion at the head of the basin. It appears that most of the trench layers had thought better of the steep portion and only one set of prints kept on. The person booted it making their trail useless to me and my heft. Thankfully I was able to find a base layer 18 inches down taking some of the hardship out of the climb. I wanted dearly to make it back in time to put the kids to bed. I only had 500' to go but at my snail's pace I knew I couldn't have both a summit and family time. I retreated and enjoyed a nice walk out. I had climbed Mt. Washington before and I didn't remember it being nearly as long. I was surprised to be taxed a bit more than expected.

All and all it was good to be out.

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