Photos from this trip can be found here.
What a gorgeous day to start off the first hike of the year 2011. The boys hiked with me on so I left them at home today. Since there was still plenty of snow on the mountain, naturally everyone would take the winter route as it’s much more direct to the lookout but with avalanche danger depending on the condition of the snow.
The snow was nice and packed for the most part, so I didn’t need to use the snowshoes at all. Going up the gully was quite a chore, as it’s much steeper than the summer route. Although this time compared to less than a year ago when I did the hike with Chad and Cooper, it seemed much easier. Perhaps it was easier to focus on my steps and breathing since I was by myself for the most part.
Because of the packed and frozen snow, microspikes alone did the trick all the way to the tower. A few spots were tricky to maneuver but not too bad.
As always, view from the top on a clear, sunny day was just spectacular. There are no words that can describe the view unless one sees it for him/herself. I was able to capture some of the farther peaks this time with my long camera lens.
Going back down this time I was brave enough to glissade parts of the way since the gully was free of trees. Any steeper I probably would have just hiked back down.
Access: Granite Mountain Trailhead
Gear: ice axe, microspikes