Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Monahan East 3525' 4.16.13

I didn't have a full day this week so I needed something low key. With the recent avalanche tragedies I left my house with a heavy heart. I wasn't overly concerned about the conditions being unsafe but I surmised the going would be slow and arduous whatever I was going to chose to do. I decided to head towards Easton hoping for somewhat better weather and snow conditions. I have done a few recent trips in the Tucker Creek drainage so I thought some more exploring would be a good fit. I found the gate open allowing access to the Tucker Creek area by car. I drove past the turn towards the creek and instead crossed under the power lines climbing steeply. After a short ways the road became covered in snow and not wanting to risk getting caught on the wrong side of the gate I turned around and parked on the correct side of the gate. Since the weather had been pretty foul coming over the pass I decided to put on snow pants and my lighter boots since I thought it likely that I would be on a packed road most of the day.

The weather was actually pleasant with filtered sun as I made my way up the packed road. I didn't really look at my map so I was surprised that the road didn't connect with the Tucker Creek road as I has surmised. The road instead climbed towards Monahan Mountain. I had climbed Monahan before coming from the West. I thought it would be interesting to give it a go from the East, especially since I didn't have time for much of anything else. After a couple of miles I left the mainline of the road to an unbroken road climbing towards my intended goal. The snow was deep and very heavy so I switched to snowshoes. Eventually I left the road entirely to reach the ridgeline. The going was straightforward and quite benign. I rejoined another road for a short ways before leaving it to climb towards 3525'. Once reaching this point I could see Monahan proper across the way but since I had already been there I settled for the Eastern sub summit as my finish line. The views towards Lake Easton and Easton itself were worthy of the effort to get to the summit.

I return mostly via the route of my ascent. Right on cue when I had to drop pack to stow my snowshoes it began to snow and blow so I layered up. The squall was short lived and by the time I got back to the car it was sunny again.

Approx 6 miles 1600ft of climb 3 hours car to car

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