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|Weather||Hot sun, some clouds, some drizzle|
|TrailConditions||Mostly snow-free to > 6000', some clambering over fallen trees|
|Mailed to WacList|| |
Lee "Old Man" Adams, Robert "Babe in the woods #1" Hahn, Gerhard "Babe in the woods #2" Schneider, Susan "Cupcake" Ashlock|
Another obscure trip brought to you by the Bulger List and a "Carries-all-year" crew.
Perhaps we should have paid closer attention to the bit about "at its best in fall… when the larches are ablaze with gold…" bit in Summit Routes. At least we didn't have to worry about running into any other people on the trip. (We didn't see another soul).
As it was, carrying skis and skinning through soft snow wasn't exactly a walk in the park, but the sunset views from Bigelow were fantastic, camp by Eagle Lake was pleasant, and lunchtime views from Martin were certainly enjoyable.
Route (approach not included):
Saturday, May 29
7 a.m. Meet at 65th P&R
12:15 - Arrive Eagle Lake TH after stop at Blue Star café along Rt 97.
12:45 p.m. - leave TH
Finally hit snow line around 6200' and put on skis. Before putting on skis, we followed some (large) bear tracks for about a half mile along the trail. Perhaps the same one that Jonathon Pryce saw evidence of? http://www.wacweb.org/Trips/TripReports/default.view?_mode=details&RowId=103
4 p.m. - arrive camp at Eagle Lake (6400'). Set up camp in snow.
5 p.m. - depart camp for Bigelow summit
8:15 p.m. - summit Bigelow after Lee leads the way through a cornice. Winds were pretty ferocious for the last ~500' of the ascent, but weren't bad on the summit itself.
9:15 p.m. - back at camp
10:30 p.m. - time for sleep
<fitful night of sleep, unbeknownst to me my sleeping pad valve was open, which resulted in some deflation and cold Susan-on-snow/>
4:30 a.m. - I decide that it's worth waking up my tentmate (old man Adams) to re-inflate.
5:30 a.m. - Lee suggests getting up (before our 7 a.m. scheduled wakeup time). I suggest some more sleep might be good. Lee says that he slept so soundly that he didn't notice me re-inflating my pad at 4:30...
8 a.m. - I awake, shocked at the realization that it's an hour past our agreed-upon wakeup time.
9:30 a.m. - Leave camp and head towards Martin. Weather is mostly sunny and snow starts softening soon after we depart camp.
~1 p.m. - Summit Martin after heading over pass one south of Horsehead pass. Iciness above rocks (on northwest-facing slope) resulted in one pair of skis being removed...
~2 p.m. - Summit Switchback after traversing along ridge. We finally get some decent turns on the descent of the west face of Switchback. East-facing slope below ridge is steep-ish and slidey. I go for a (short) ride.
~5 p.m. - return to camp after coming back over Horsehead Pass.
~9 p.m. - back at car after much cursing along hike out due to Lee's two-years-ago-pinned foot and Susan's bizarrely-bruised-foot. At least the GPS track of our route saved us a good amount of distance. (Not that we would ever cut switchbacks…)
Slept at horse camp at TH, which seemed like luxury (picnic table! Pit toilet! No snow! And just a few raindrops after fears of significant rain!)
Brunch in Pateros
Stuck in traffic at I-90 MP ~80. Rain heavy at times.
1:30 p.m. - Back in Seattle.