Photos from this trip can be found here.
Continuing the New Year’s Day anniversary hike up this mountain with good company.
This year we started heading up the forested slope just before reaching the avalanche chute two miles in from the trailhead. Some old tracks were visible in the beginning, but they soon disappeared as soon as the snow reached knee high. Then we broke trail out of the tree line and onto the granite rock-filled south ridge. From there it was a straight shot to the lookout tower.
Another group followed our tracks up the ridge, while the rest of the hikers with or without snowshoes went up via the summer trail. The ridge was windy but tolerable, and it died down soon after we reached the lookout tower.
There was more traffic via the summer route than in the years past. Unless the snow has consolidated from all the foot traffic, snowshoes are highly recommended if going up that way. We took the summer route down and were still postholing all the way to the recognizable section of the trail.
Access: Granite Mountain Trailhead
Gear: snowshoes, ice axe