Photos from this trip can be found here.
The original plan was to scramble Morning Star Peak, but I started having doubts about the scramble when we got to the trailhead at 10 AM with the not-so-partly-sunny weather. By then we only had about nine hours of daylight and from what I read on nwhikers and summitpost, it wasn’t exactly a straightforward scramble. But we gave it a shot anyway and hoped for better weather rest of the day.
The brush section was pretty nasty to say the least, with most places where ducking was the only way to move ahead. The bushes were still wet from the night before, and by the time we got through them we were half-soaked. Then the rain decided to hit the minute we got out of the brush, talk about great timing.
The riverbed was a piece of cake compared to the brush section. When we reached the refrigerator-sized boulder, I decided to follow the report where the guy took the gully with a snowfield directly to the east of it. We started off traversing westerly, but half hour into the climb I began to wonder when, if at all, the gully would start heading southwesterly. Looking the steep gully filled with wet rocks, I realized that there was no way I’d be able to get the dogs up all those without the possibility of me falling and becoming a statistic for the day. We turned around an hour later and started heading for Wirtz Basin instead.
We got back at the trail junction around 2, so there was still time to get up to Headlee Pass or even Sperry Peak before sunset. The trail was in great shape like last year with cairns throughout to point hikers in the right direction. Not surprisingly, the rain started to pour just as we got closer to the pass. We took refuge under the trees on Headleee and waited for the rain to subside, but there was no sign of it stopping anytime soon. After 20 minutes of changing into dry layers and putting on rain gear, I decided to call it a day. Scrambling up Sperry on a rainy day was absolutely not my idea of fun.
On the way down we passed two groups of hikers and ended up talking to a newly wedded couple and walking back to the parking area together with them.