Into the Alpine

Day One

What better way to start an adventure than a peaceful forest trail.

After a few miles, I parted ways with the trail and began to ascend a steep forested ridge. It didn't take long to reach the cloud layer, and soon I had a couple hundred photos of foggy old growth forest...

If you only click on one photo, click on this one! It looks great on a big screen.

I was in the clouds the rest of the day. I had to navigate some steep hillsides with cliffs and gullies, but eventually I found a decent place to set up my tent. I knew the peak was above me somewhere but I couldn't see it.

Day Two

It rained for a few hours through the night, which soaked all of the stunted subalpine trees. I was soaked within minutes of leaving camp. It didn't take long to get a short glimpse of the target.

The clouds rolled in and out, making navigation somewhat difficult. I had to find a way around the peak, and I got cliffed out a couple times before finding a decent game trail.

The alpine scenery was awesome.

I worked my way around the peak and found the snow chute I was looking for. It was steeper than I had hoped. I kicked all the way up the left chute but the snow ended about 20 feet from the top. The rock was loose and I didn't like the exposure, and it looked like it wasn't going to get any better at the top. I down-climbed with a firm grip on some shrubs, praying their roots held. Back where the snow chutes forked, I tried to make it up the right chute, but the snow didn't go far enough. A steep goat trail went up the rocks from the snow, and I made it about 30 feet up before looking back down and realizing I didn't want to down climb this. So I accepted defeat, a mere 300' below the summit.

Of course there was a great view as I descended back to camp...

I packed up camp and began the descent...

And it will still be there next year.