| Winter Quandary
I'm just gonna post a few photos of the day, it was a very nice day. Started out with a little fog at the TH, but by the time we reached the krumholtz, we were above the clouds and the temps went from 15 degrees to 30 degrees. Not much snow on the mountain above the treeline. The packed trail was sometimes 8" higher than the adjacent slope, just shows how much the wind has scoured this peak.
All the snow is at or below the treeline
You can see in these two pictures how little snow there is. I was amazed that Brec or Copper was doing some avy control that day. The wind is always working, but geez!
I met Tockelstein2005 in Breckenridge and we drove up to the TH in the fog, we got a nice view of the summit as we passed The Skier's Edge. We had a little trouble on the 1st slope at the last signpost, the packed trail disappeared beneath the wind blown snow and it was searching for the trail with my poles, kinda like doing avy rescue training, but it worked and saved us from deep postholing. After that it was smooth sailing on the packed trail.
At about 12,400, my left foot got really cold and Tockelstein continued on without me. But after about 10 minutes I ran into a large group of guys from 14ers.com. They encouraged me to try the warmers, and was glad I did. I think this added about 400' to my day and by the time I was approaching the summit I was almost crawling up, Tockelstein was coming back down, I guess I was about 45 minutes behind him or so. High above the clouds, I could see the clouds spilling over Hoosier Pass and the Continental Divide like water pouring out of a bowl. I just was glad the hard part was over, I think I need a little more fitness or something, that was a struggle. I'm just like a horse, point me toward the barn and I know the feed bag is in there waiting for me, so going down was no problem!
East slopes look loaded on Atlantic, Fletcher/Atlantic Ridge is my favorite!
Red Mountain/Hoosier Ridge west slopes look wind bown and sparse
He slowed down for me to catch up and I rejoined him at the flat part of the ridge just below the summit pyramid. It was a good day, Tockelstein got his 14er and we enjoyed some good company on the trail. The fog moved off to the south and the hike back down to the TH was no problem in the fading light of the late afternoon.
Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):