Sunday, December 13, 2009

Saturday Dec. 12, 2009

Saturday December 12, 2009

When I arrived I was surprised to see lots of cars in the lower lot(around forty). I decided to change my routine a little and start my hike on the other end of the fire road. While I got to the Old Rag fee station to pick up my radio at around twelve thirty I did not go into service on the other side of the mountain until around 13:30.

Once again a photo from the same spot so that seasonal change comparisons can be made.

The shot above is stitched together from around six shots all taken just outside of Etlan. Double click and use slider bars for higher resolution. Hopefully this picture will be a help to rock climbers trying to plan trips on this side of the mountain.

Sorry that this is not such a good photo. It was taken from the Weakley Hollow Fire Road.

Bartenders Spring near the top of the switchbacks on the Ridge Trail.
From this point up the trail was covered with hard packed icy snow until I got below Old Rag Shelter. This weekend was a good example of the trail becoming far more treacherous after the snow is packed down and has melted and refrozen several times. The rock scramble was easier and safer to negotiate than last week because a lot of what had been snow covered rock was bare and dry this week. That said, the non-rock scramble parts of the trail above 1,700 feet were far more difficult to walk than last week. Having my Kahtoola Micospikes made what could have been a scary experience pleasant.

Using my point and shoot this is the best photo I could get of the lights looking towards Etlan and Culpepper. The photo does not even come close to representing what you see with your eyes. In the winter when the air is crisp and clear and the leaves are off the trees the lights in the valley create a beautiful twinkling view.

Looking up at the Chute from the middle of the rock scramble.
Several hikers reported they had seen large numbers of boy scouts on the mountain. I reached the first false summit as the daylight was fading. I had run into about five hiking parties that were returning down the Ridge Trail as I was going up. I did not see or hear anyone between the first false summit and Byrds Nest Shelter. When I got to Byrds Nest Shelter there was a camping party there who had a wonderful large fire going. Had fun visiting with them for about an hour.
I saw another group of campers down by PO Junction but since it was already so late I decided not to visit them. It was nice having a short trip to my car from PO Junction.
I Signed out of service at 21:49.

No comments:

Post a Comment