Sunday, March 26, 2023

Fall/early winter hiking recap

I'm running a little behind (and since this is round 3, we probably don't need a full blown report for each peak! (unless something is especially exciting))

My sister visited for Thanksgiving, and (briefly) so did winter! We enjoyed a true winter day on Pierce and had a great time showing her one of our favorite 4000 footers. 

We tagged Waumbek the second weekend of December and there was a noticeable lack of snow for the majority of the hike. Back to fall conditions, frozen ground, ice, kind of junky. I managed to hook my microspike in my boot badly during this hike and I took a fall that left my right hand injured for the winter season (not broken- seems like a tendon was injured and so I have been fighting tenosynovitis since. It's not terribly painful anymore but was an annoying thing to take away from what was a pretty annoying hike!)

We began the winter season on December 27 with Hale. We chose to add the Zealand roadwalk and it was a really enjoyable day. Chilly enough so that the snow was very microspikeable and we made short work of the trail. A good way to start the winter season! It was cold so I took very few pics. 

Later that week we ventured off in hopes to tag both Carter Dome and middle Carter. This turned out to be by FAR the worst hike of the 2022 season. We had a major storm earlier in the week and received some snow, and also insane amounts of rain. Temps were expected to be cool, and the trail report showed that the trails had been well set after the storm. 
What we did NOT expect was a massive temp change (to over 50 degrees) around the half way point on the way up. The snowpack on the trail began to literally collapse around and under us. It was miserable, and unexpected, and we turned back less than a half mile from the summit (and had a dreadful descent. there was nothing that could be done to keep from sinking repeatedly, as the snow was falling into itself. We never have seen anything like it!)
The photo shows the amazing washout at one of the crossings from the rain.

After that debacle, a combination of miserable weather, scheduling issues and other crap kept us out of the mountains for the month of January. 
Stay tuned for the remainder of the winter season recap. 

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