Went up Isolation Mountain 11/17/19. Took Rocky Branch to Engine Hill Bushwhack and then the Iso Express.

Trail started off hard granular. We didn't put our spikes on immediately but eventually did. It was easier for me as I climbed. When the trail flattens out, we started to see water/ice/mud...mixed with the snow. We turned to go to the Engine Hill Bushwhack (only saw couple set of footprints) The normal way also had tracks. We stayed to the lower of 3200 contour following the person before. It was OK...a few areas were not frozen over and you had to watch your step but I have seen it far worse. We also encountered just a little thick area but not bad. We came out a little lower than normal. We made another group that came out just above us. The said it was thick. The snow on the bushwhacks were not packed down and fluffy. It would have been hard to use snowshoes because vegetation is still very visible.

We then proceeded across the river and up the Iso Express. No footprints. We hit it right on. On the way back. We took a higher contour line of around 3300 before dropping on the Engine Hill bushwhack. That seemed clearer and less mud.

Beautiful blue sky day. Temps were cool but no wind. Gaters and spikes were very helpful.