| Not quite there
After being bitten by the climbing bug a couple years ago, & successfully climbing Mt Shavano & coming oh so close on Belford, I decided to try my first solo, winter trip.
The wife, kids, & I came out and staye din Frisco, so they could ski Copper & Loveland.
So Sat. I dropped them off at Loveland and drove down I-70 to the next exit and parked at the Herman Gulch TH.
I got a littler later start than I wanted due to dropping them off, but was in my snow shoes and geared up and on the trail at approx. 0845.
I was a little unsure, as the only trip report I ever found on Parnassus wasn't even a true report, and it was 5 years old. About the only helpful advice I gleaned from the things I found was get on the Watrous Trail,and that there was avalanche danger in the winter.
So, anyway, I started up Herman Gulch, and found the snow somewhat packed, and I almost, thought about not taking my 'shoes. I hiked east on the trail and found the Herman Gulch/Watrous split. Well, good thing I had the snowshoes after all, because other than some animals, and a very faint indication of where the trail was, it was fairly snow covered.
Other than breaking trail, it was fairly even going, and not too bad of a climb, even for a flatlander from NEB, that hates that there's no oxygen, ha. As I progressed, past 10,500+', the trail was becoming sketchier and sketchier to see/find. There was basically some indications and I used common sense to keep climbing.
It was a beautiful day, and I took my time to enjoy the views, and the awesome solitude. Once I got around the corner of the mountain, away from I-70, it was if I was the only person on Earth.
The report I had read, said it was 3.5 miles to the peak. I figured 3-4 hours up for me, and 2-3 back down. With the late start, and having to pick up the family by 4ish, I was hoping to make it, but it was going to be close.
Well at 11,250' according to th eGPS, I flat ran out of trail. No indications, no clues, no nothing. The peak, was to my NE still, I was heading due north, with no indications of which way was best. It was now a little after 1100. The peak was across what looked like a snow filled ravine, and from what I could see, there was no discernable trail there either. I thought about exploring a little more, and trying to cast around for the trail, and if I hadn't been alone, I would have. But with time being a consideration, I headed back down. All in all, it was a great day, and I got some good time outside. I'll be back in 2 weeks to do Boreas with my oldest son
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