Dan and I decided to get a peak in before we got into full season.
While the ~10-20 cm overnight snow made it a bit more challenging
the route we chose was still very doable even with waist-balls
deep snow in places.
Starting the day from the trailhead.
Dan and I had a work window and decided to get outside for a hike. While it definitely wasn't as springlike
with ~10 cm of fresh snow overnight, at least we were able to get out for some exercise in the outdoors. Here's a
look at the target peak - Midnight Peak in K country across from Nakiska. Our route takes us around the left
ridgeline and up the back from Baldy Pass.
I think this could be Dan's album cover insert - 'Here's your singer/songwriter Dan'.
Dan pointing out some cougar tracks in the fresh snow.
We werent't totally sure what kind of conditions we'd find so I encouraged Dan to bring his snowshoes
which he didn't need but he carried for the whole morning. Here you see him with his 70 L pack, you know,
since he needed the training weight.
Looking back down to Baldy Pass and you can see the low cloud level.
Dan, humping his way through the snow. For most of the route, it was pretty packed snow making for
swift travel. But whenever we'd get into open slopes, it was deep and slow-moving.
This shows the result of me post-holing to my nuts and nipples in places.
A lone tree sitting on a windswept slope. I was thankful for the rocky terrain here and the wind since
it meant I could punch a track from rock outcrop to rock outcrop without being buried to the head with snow.
Figuring out the best uptrack. I find having done a lot of skin tracking in the back country, it's pretty
easy to look at a slope and figure out the most efficient line through the snow. It makes it a bit more challenging
though when you're in boots and not skis.
The summit ridge had a small cornice on it. Sadly, we didn't get much of a view here.
Dan making the last push to the summit.
Me on the summit shooting Dan.
Having lunch on the summit.
Dan and I say 'nice summit, even in the snow'. Gaiters and micro crampons were essential on this day
but skis or snowshoes weren't necessary. With a bit more snow, or even earlier season, this summit is
very doable on snowshoes though.
Lunch on a summit is always awesome, even if you can't see anything.
Tough to see here, but there's a decent-looking south-facing coulour off the peak that could go really well
although it sends you off into an area that will be a lot farther from the car.
Dan post-holing to his nuts. Again, while it wasn't our best outing, it was a sound day in the
backcountry and always better than a day in the office.
Garmin data from the morning showing 13km of travel and about 950m of elevation gain HERE
Showing the route from Google Earth also shows where that coulour run would take you. The other peak shown here
is the lower Midday peak, although it looks higher in this view.
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