Photos for this trip can be found here.
Got a late start waiting to rent a pair of snowshoes at REI since I broke the bindings on mine on Mount Persis yesterday.
Friends and I took the snow gully straight up since today’s avalanche danger in the area was low. The breeze felt in the gully was the prelude to the 10-20+ mph wind that would eventually accompany on the ridge all the way to the summit. Some old snowshoe/ski tracks throughout but they were too faint to follow, so we made our own.
We decided to dodge the wind by traversing to the west and that helped a bit. Balaclava was definitely a great idea at this point! It was also much icier west of the rock-exposed ridge so make sure to bring an ice ax.
Lookout tower was covered in ice and the mountain had a lot more snow than last year. Most of the trees on top were buried in so only a few of them around to provide shelter from the wind. We stayed long enough to eat and take photos then started making out way down the mountain.
What a glorious day on the first day of the year!
Access: Granite Mountain Trailhead
Gear: snowshoes, microspikes, crampons, ice axe