Monday, March 4, 2013

Greenway Mountain 3.4.13

With the stellar forecasted weather I wanted to get out and enjoy the sun while I had the chance. After floundering through so much deep snow last week I hoped to find some consolidation and easier going. I thought I would hedge my bets and head up the Mount Washington Trail again. It seems to get enough traffic to keep the trailbreaking to a minimum. I again parked at the Ollallie trailhead and instead of taking the trail to the accss road I went straight into the woods and popped out in short order on the road. The snow started around 1800' and with all the traffic the footing was quite good. The sun was filtered but it was very nice to say the least. The wind would kick up once in a while. It was interesting to see the gusts move through the trees blowing the snow off them in the process. I watched one gust for quite some time move accross the basin above me. It isn't often that one gets the opportunity to actually see the wind. I made good progress and soon I found myself at the point where I had left the trai the week before. I had two options, I could follow the trail or follow some flagging that was added since last week. The flagging lead the direction that I had gone last week so I chose to follow that. In short order the trail ended and I was stymied by some closely knit small trees. I could see open slopes just beyond the thicket and since I was planning on heading SE to Greenway peak I decided to head for the the road above me. The going was mostly open and even though the slopes were open it appeared that the snow above was safe from coming down upon me. I did try to stay closer to the trees to give myself an added cushion.

After a short ways I passed a long gully that headed up towards Mt Washington I instead crossed this gulley and headed into the trees aiming for a small saddle above me. The snow was receptive and while the trees were close together it was a pleasant ascent to the road above. Once reaching the road I headed East. The snow was better than expected and I stayed mostly under the drip line of the trees finding better snow. I soon passed the point I had climbed a few week's earlier. With the sunny weather I was able to see my destination looking a long ways off. I stayed on the road dropping some precious elevation reaching a open area where I dropped pack. I knew I had to hustle if I was going to make the summit and back home in time for dinner. I made really good time despite it looking so far away. I could see some older tracks in the snow that left the road where I was planning on leaving. I climbed the short steep pitch to get myself on the summit ridge. Once on the ridge I headed South towards Greenway's summit. It appeared to be possible to stay directly on the ridge but I chose to traverse a short ways on the West side before climbing the last bit to the open summit. Plenty of views where to be had. I especially liked the view down towards the reseviour. With so much distance yet to cover I didn't linger long. I made quick work back to my pack. I followed my ascent route until I reached the junction with the road that heads North towards Change Peak. I dropped off the ridge in the same spot as my last visit. This time I left my snowshoes on which was a bit awkward but I was able to find easy travel. I followed my tracks that I could make out in the snow despite being some time ago that I was there. Once regaining the trench I stopped only long enough to take off my snowshoes and repack them. The descent back to the car was most pleasing. I was thankful to have such a nice day to be out and to be able to make another summit.

Approx 10.5 miles 4200' of climb 6 hours car to car


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