Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Smokey Mt Persis 9.17.12



   Back from my multiple vacations and settling into my new work schedule I was finally  back into a routine. I was eager to get out and summit something. Despite the stellar weather I wasn't looking for an all day affair. I hadn't been up Persis and since it included in the Homecourt 100 I had a worthy goal. I managed to get out of the house and make my way to Forest road 62 which I followed until it branches just before the concrete bridge around 4 miles in. The spur I took is rough but the Subaru had no issues. After a few miles the road again forks and I took the left spur heading up. Once reaching a switchback the trail head isn't much further. There is enough parking for around 4 cars and the trail starts a few feet past the parking spot. There was one other car parked as I suited up. The weather was ideal, maybe a touch too warm. The smoke drifting West from the fires in Eastern Washington was thick.

    The trail thankfully was mostly shaded in the late morning. I didn't know what to expect from the trail but for the most part it is steep but in much better shape than what I had expected. The first mile is the steepest but once reaching the higher slopes the grade relents. Not knowing the trail made route finding a bit more difficult. I ended up heading too high on the ridge topping out on 5017' . The pup was having some trouble with the boulderfield so I had to backtrack to help him navigate. While he has been over many rockslides, most where have been covered with snow. I bashed my way along the brushy ridge until I was able to find the trail that traverses beneath the ridge. Just below the tarns I passed a nice couple and their two dogs. Just after passing them I found a nice cool shady spot to let the dog cool. After the dogs had had some time to cool I made my way to the tarn a short ways above me. Thankfully there was still plenty of cool water along with some substantial snow. Thankfully the dog was able to drink his fill.




   I again had some navigating issues heading too far East and having to backtrack to find the trail. I reached the smoky summit in short order. The views were mostly blocked with the thick smoke. It sure seems like a long way down to Hy 2 far below the summit. I was able to get some nice peeks at the Index complex, making it even more apparent that I will have much difficulty finishing the Homecourt 100. After a short stay and some nice conversation with the couple I had passed earlier I retreated back to my shady spot below the tarns. Surprisingly the bugs were quite bothersome. Between a few horseflies and the swarms of small flies I didn't manage as much relaxing as I had hoped. Growing weary of swatting flies I headed back. The portion of the trail that traverses went much quicker since I was able to easily follow it. The steeper portion was taxing on the knees but I managed to make it out without any missteps.




A perfect fit on this beautiful September day.

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