1/28/2012

Trail Conditions: Lower portion of trail was icy/wet snow, some parts not frozen. By 2500', the snow was combination powder w/ice, around 3000', thick icy crust on several inches of snow.

Special Equipment Required: snowshoes not required. Used light traction (microspikes, mil-specs) the whole way. Mil-Spec ice crampons (hillsound knock-offs) did suffer from balling on the lower section during the descent, and took them off after clearing them a couple of times. Hiking poles useful.
GPS turned out to be useful, especially since I'd loaded up the track from the AllTrails.zip file (see below).

Parking: lot not plowed, but so little snow that we just pulled in easily.

Comments: 28 degrees on the summit, very light breeze. Beautiful day for a hike. Saw no one else or any footprints on the mountain except our party. Did see one car at the Cherry Mountain Trailhead that afternoon.

Managed to lose the trail about 50 ft before it makes a hard right turn around 2800' - a critical blaze was hidden under snow and we bore left when we should have gone uphill. After heading up for a while, we realized that the brush was intruding too far over the treadway, confirmed with the GPS that we were off-track, and backtracked until we found a blaze.

Looking at my photos after the hike, the attached picture shows exactly where we blew it:

http://photos3.meetupstatic.com/phot..._89896402.jpeg

(this was a fortuitous shot taken on the way up). The trail goes straight uphill behind that girdled tree, we bore slightly left on what appeared to be the well-used path. Notice the yellow ribbon dead center in this picture? There's also a yellow blaze under the snow just below the knot on the tree behind the stripped trunk. We didn't see either the first time going by.

Jeff Carter