Photos from this trip can be found here.
A year ago to the date we were across the canyon on Humility Hill. On both trips had also made an attempt two weekends earlier but couldn’t have gotten far enough on the road due to snow.
Nearly half a mile before Derby Canyon/NF-125 road junction, melting snow water had overtaken the road and created a long stretch of mud bed. Couple of big dips together with mud made the road look impassable, so I parked the car before the pile of mess. Not wanting to spend time negotiating mud, we crossed the unnamed creek to the south side and went up a minor rib to NF-125 at 2,400′.
After getting around Point 2847 on its south side, we forked left at the junction onto an abandoned road. The goal was to attain Blag Mountain’s west ridge at some point to avoid spending too much time on roads with long switchbacks.
The abandoned road contoured west ridge clockwise and ended abruptly in half a mile at 3,000′. From here we saw the bazillion service roads distinctly outlined by residual snow on the mountain’s north side–it was dizzying. We hopped on another steep minor rib and came out on the road above at 3,500′.
We followed the road counterclockwise and scrambled northward onto the west ridge at 3,800′ from the junction with NF-317. Last 800 feet of ridge traverse was done in good snow, postholed a few times but nothing major to have needed snowshoes.
Mostly sunny weather forecast for this area, and indeed it had been sunny and warm all morning, albeit a bit breezy. Though 20 minutes after we arrived on top, clouds in the Icicle Creek Canyon area slowly crept in. Another 20 minutes later snow started to fall for about a half hour. What the wuuuh mid-April?
The ominous weather system continued to move northward over our heads as we descended the west ridge; there was the sun again. At 3,700′ we took the same steep minor rib and plunge stepped our way down, eventually reaching NF-125 a few hundred feet before junction with Derby Canyon Road.
Half a mile of mud wrestling later and we were right back where we started.