8:45AM: More snow! As I continued up the mountain, the snow pack increased to 4 or so feet. With snowshoes, I was impacting no more than 6 inches with every step. The consistency of the pack - powder snow on a hard crust - made for easy, rhythmic travel. Beautiful!
9:08AM: The Summit of Stuart Peak!
|An excited self-portrait on the summit of Stuart Peak with |
Mosquito Peak, the next objective, over my left shoulder.
~9:25AM: I left the glorious summit of Stuart Peak for Mosquito Peak. Per usual, I disregarded any of the summer trails and kept a tight line on the ridges. Oh, the joys of winter travel!
|The summit ridge of Mosquito Peak. My track is visible on the ridge.|
This shot was taken on my way back to Stuart Peak.
|Looking down the summit ridge to a false summit of Mosquito Peak.|
Here,without snowshoes, I was postholing 1-2 feet with every step.
|Self-portrait #2 of the day on top of Mosquito Peak. |
That expression, again, is a cry of joy, not pain.
|My ice ax planted on the summit of Mosquito Peak with Stuart Peak right of center.|
~12:45PM: Back on top of Stuart Peak!
|Self-portrait #3 and final picture of the day on top of Stuart Peak again. |
Mosquito Peak (form whence I came) is visible over my right shoulder.
The trip back to the trail head, although uneventful, was extremely enjoyable and relaxing. I cruised downhill, turning the 2 hour 56 minute ascent into a 2 hour 20 minute descent.
3:17PM: Back at the trail head!
All told, the outing was exactly what I was searching for: an escape from office life and the discovery of winter! I felt and feel incredibly blessed to be afforded opportunities to experience God's beauty and the accompanying peacefulness. I always come back after trips like this a little better than I left. A new creation!
Onward and upward!