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05/23/2005 - East Ridge/Slopes via McCullough Gulch
I hiked with snowshoes. There was a lot of activity over the weekend (17 folks signed the register Sunday alone), and the assortment of snow tracks (skis, boards, snowshoes, boots, and even pants) made for a wide range of route options. The hard early morning snow made the ascent fairly straightforward. The descent was a lot of work because the snow had softened considerably. Even with snowshoes, I sunk up to my thighs several times as I tried to find the shallowest snow.
A couple notes:
1) The short road to the trailhead is mostly clear, suitable for passenger cars. The few snow patches are small and will most likely be gone in a week or so.
2) The trail below treeline still has numerous snow patches. No problem going up, but rather messy coming down.
3) The snow is not continuous above treeline. I stayed in snowshoes as much as I could, even taking a rather circuitous route at times, but still had to mount/dismount three times. Shussers need to watch for rocks.
3) If you're going to hike in "just boots", leave as early as you can. The late morning soft snow will swallow you up otherwise.
4) The summit register "pipe" had a cool "14ers.com" sticker on it!
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