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.

   I stayed on the road as it headed up valley. At around 2900' where the roads bends to the East I left the road making my own way. The going was a little tricky because of the uneven snow conditions but I wasn't postholing so I was thankful for that. I headed up valley keeping the stream on my right but I started uphill too soon. Once I had climbed 400' the clouds opened enough to see that I was off line. I could see below me the broad gully that I wanted but I wasn't enthused about the steep descent to join it. I decided to keep on climbing in hopes that I could traverse to the saddle between the Eastern Point and 10-4 proper. I unexpectedly came out on an old road which I followed until it's end at 3500'. I again tried to traverse and met with similar steep snow to the substantial drop to the gully below me. I backtracked and climbed until I was able to intersect the NE Ridge. I followed this for a short ways until I was forced off the ridge and was able to find an easier route to the gully. I now at burned all the extra time I had I knew that I couldn't make the summit and make it home on time. It began to rain dampening my spirits even more. I was a bit crestfallen to be close to the summit but not getting myself early enough wasted any hope I had for a successful summit bid. I retraced my route in a purposeful drizzle thankful that I was at least able to get out and give the dog a good run and to have an opportunity to bolster by low current fitness level.

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