Humerus Hill + Jolly Mountain III / 肱骨山丘+歡樂山之三

The recruit was ready for prime time after three months. So yesterday, we did a trial run on Cleman Mountain. Then today, the pup made his first snow scramble on Humerus Hill and Jolly Mountain. Our last-minute plan this morning had us start at a quarter to 11.

Humerus Hill still far away
Humerus Hill still far away

See more trip photos here.

Humerus Hill and Jolly Mountain at a Glance

Access: Cayuse Horse Camp
Round Trip: 15.2 miles
Elevation Range: 2400′-6443′
Gear: snowshoes, microspikes
GPS Track: available
Dog-Friendly: yes

Salmon La Sac

Winter recreation along Salmon La Sac Road was still in full swing. But the road was clear up to Cayuse Camp. So I parked just outside of the roundabout, and then we started hiking. Microspikes came in handy on the icy roadway.

On the way to the trailhead, we had somehow gone on a different road. So we ended up on the wrong side of the creek. But we soon reconnected with the correct path after some scrambling.

A late morning start
A late morning start

See more trip photos here.

Jolly Mountain Trail

Much snow had melted in the lower parts of the trail. But rather than using the path, it was more comfortable to walk on the snow on either side. Then at mile two, we made a right onto the road and walked to the end. So far, the overcast sky has kept the snow firm.

Afterward, we re-entered the forest and continued on packed snow. Then right before the Salmon La Sac Creek crossing, I started seeing ski and boot tracks. So we followed them through to the other side of the water.

Sasse Ridge up ahead
Sasse Ridge up ahead

See more trip photos here.

Onward to Jolly Mountain

Soon, we were up in the meadow below Sasse Ridge. There I put on snowshoes. Then just past the clearing, the tracks we had been following turned around. Bummer! So we began to break trail up to the ridge. The spotty views slowly expanded.

As we continued on the ridge, I started seeing snowmobile tracks all over. The snow was somewhat soft. But we made use of the trails through to the other side. Otherwise, it would have taken us longer. The paths all pointed to the top of Jolly Mountain.

We meet again
We meet again

See more trip photos here.

Continuing to Humerus Hill

Slowly, we made it through the north ridgeline and went up to the top. We were last up here three years ago. Since Humerus Hill was our primary goal, we didn’t stay long. So we went down on the south ridge and continued. Snowmobilers had been everywhere!

We made our path down the steep terrain to the saddle. From here, it looked like the tire tracks went clear across to Point 5750. Perfect! So we could make use of them when needed. We soon bypassed the first two knobs from the west.

Next stop, Humerus Hill
Next stop, Humerus Hill

See more trip photos here.

Humerus Hill Summit

I tried minimizing elevation gain and loss. But Point 5750 was more manageable to go through the top. Then once we went down onto the saddle, we had dropped 1000′ from Jolly Mountain. The snow wasn’t as firm here. So we were, or rather, I was moving slowly up through the last 500′.

Just below the top, we moved to the southern slopes. Then from there, we went right up to the snow-free summit. We were able to avoid the wind behind dry rocks. It was late in the day, so we didn’t stay very long. The usual suspects included Stuart Range, Jolly Mountain, and Elbow Peak.

Jolly Mountain from Humerus Hill
Jolly Mountain from Humerus Hill

See more trip photos here.

Back to Jolly Mountain and Out

Jolly Mountain looked so much farther now that we were on Humerus Hill. But I tried not to think about having to go back through the ridge and regain 1000′. Going from the southeast saddle up to the top seemed to take forever! But once we were back on the summit, it was all downhill from here.

In the process of getting back up to Jolly Mountain, I lost one of my beloved mittens. By then, the wind was blowing harder. So I didn’t feel like going back to look for it. Down in the meadow were some new snowshoe tracks that seemed to have turned around. What a long day!

Thanks for a lovely day
Thanks for a lovely day

See more trip photos here.

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