- May 13, 2013
- Reaction score
I wouldn't call that "windy." I did it on a winter day where the Rockpile forecast was 60 gusting 80 (and it actually wound up that way in the end). Our experienced trip leader said "no problem, it's mostly sheltered." 90% of the distance is sheltered, and when it's truly blowing you spend 50% of the time in the exposed portions. I was pretty sure we were going to lose somebody in the Dry River. Every single outlook had somebody blown over.
I've also gone dancing across on calm days and never would have noticed the weather exposure except for having been there before. Which is why I beat the drum. The WMG does mention it, but the reputation just hasn't stuck.
I wasn't calling my day windy. Was just giving the conditions when I was on it at the time. I'm sure in Winter with ice, snow and other traction hazards that trail could be treacherous with good wind gusts. One of my first Winter summits was Jackson in sustained 30+mph winds with higher gusts and driving snow and that last ledge scramble up was pretty interesting. Sat down quite a bit attempting to maintain my balance in snow shoes descending (which now that I've been Winter hiking I wouldn't have had the snow shoes on in the first place but I was pretty green at that point - maybe lazy is a better word because there was about 15" of fresh snow all the way up to the last ledge and it seemed like a waste to switch to spikes or crampons for that short pitch when I'd be back in snow shortly). I could see where the cone of Webster in that steep, talus and rocky area could be a challenge in the wind but the rest of it didn't seem that bad. It just didn't strike me as a nasty trail. I can think of many others that high winds would give me more concern. Gusty winds can be an issue even on a flat trail though. The unpredictability makes it easy to get off balance. I'll file the warning away in the old memory banks though for the next trip.