Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Mount Washington Postern Route 3.11.13

The plan was to summit Change Peak via my descent route from last week's summit of Greenway Peak. I had to wait until my wife returned from an obligation in the morning before I could leave. With an evening plans also I needed something close and efficient. I also was expecting some rainy weather to move in so I wanted to avoid that if I could. I parked again at the Olallie Trailhead and suited up. Since it was warm I left off a layer. I left the car and headed straight into the brush for the short jaunt to the access road above. I made good time to the point where I had rejoined the trail the week prior. I gave some thought to putting on snowshoes but I thought I would see first how it would go without. Staying in my faint track was provided enough support to leave the shoes attached to my pack. While it wasn't raining enough water was dripping off the trees to warrant adding some rain gear. I enjoyed the feel of the mostly untracked snow to the ridge above. Once reaching some open slopes I diverged from my previous descent to use the more open but much steeper slopes. I was able to reach the road very near the striking rock formation on the ridge.

I stopped for a short break and made my way North to see what lay ahead. I could see another 200' above me before the cloud deck obscured my view. The 200' I could see appeared to be an easy jaunt, but without being able to see the remaining elevation I had an internal debate. In the end I decided that I would rather summit Change Peak in better weather in order to captialize on the views. I turned my attention to climbing further on the road to rejoin the route I had layed last week. I also new of another party who had made there way from Washington to Greenway so I knew that I would have a beaten path all the way to Mt Washington. Once reaching the more recent path the pace quickened. After reaching the summit there was a variety of ways to descend. I was even able to have a short glissade on the way down. I was at least 30 minutes behind my optimum time so I did my best to keep a good pace. The upper portions of the trail however where slippery and required vigilance. I did manage to cross pass with my wife before she left and was able to meet her for our evening plans.

Approx 8.5 miles 3600' of climb 4:15 car to car

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