2016/12/3 – Round Mountain 5700 / 圓山5700

Dirtyface Mountain on the other side
Dirtyface Mountain in clouds

All photos from this trip can be found here.

Road 6910 was overall drivable with sufficient traction, preferably with a 4wd. Some snow and occasional slushy mud starting at 2,800′. I parked at the 3,200′ switchback in fear of getting high-centered later on and put on microspikes. From there, pups and I walked 1.5 miles to trailhead. As we were walking, I realized that the road was more or less still good until the 3,600′ switchback. Some old tire tracks looked to have turned around at that point as well.

Surprisingly it had been sunny all morning up until now, when snow clouds started to roll in from the west. Tired of road walk, we went up-slope at the aforementioned 3,600′ switchback to Road 6910/170 junction, then back to the road and hiked the remaining .1 mile to trailhead. Under two feet of snow at the parking area; it began to snow here and never stopped.

Once we entered the forest, only a few inches of snow in the first 100 feet elevation, but beyond that point it’s all snowshoe. Two to three feet of snow in the open area where old forest fires swept through; also started to get windy here. This was the hardest section to get through with deeper powder.

Semi-packed snow once we re-entered the forest, still postholed here and there. More snow at the Round Mountain/Nason Ridge Trail junction where there were some clearings. We hiked to 5,400′ southeast of Round Mountain summit, then scrambled 300′ to the top. Another forested summit with limited views, not that there was much to see today. A glimpse of Dirtyface Mountain north of the White River Valley and that’s it.

We left the summit at sunset and got back to the car after dark. I forgot to get headlamp out of the car before we left, but thankful for the backup illumination in my ten essentials.

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