Mountaineering 101

Peak Summited2019 Mount Baden-Powell
Type of HikeDay hike
TrailheadVincent Gap
Road ConditionsRoad rough but passable
Bug StatusNo bugs
Snow ConditionsTrail snow-covered at times - Gear and expertise recommended
Trail ConditionsObstacles on trail

Peak 7 of the 12 Pack of Peaks Challenge. This was my first solo hike using crampons, axe, and a helmet. I stepped off from the Vincent Gap Trailhead at about 0550. Temps were in the low 40's. The first hour or so were a bit drizzly and dreary. Rain gear was a must. At about 1.2 miles in I started seeing patches of snow on the trail. They became more frequent and difficult at about 1.9 miles. I put on micro-spikes at this point. By the time I reach 2.4 miles the trail was completely covered, so I switched to crampons, axe and helmet. The snow was crunchy under foot to start, but quickly became soft and slick. Some parts were a bit icy. As I continued to climb, I just went straight up. The trail and switchbacks were basically gone.

 

I had the summit to myself for about 20 minutes. No views today.  It was cold, foggy, and windy, so I started to head down. Straight down! 😉 I ran into about 8 or 9 groups of hikers (day hikers, Boy Scouts, and PCTers) on my descent. Only one pair of hikers had crampons, but they were having a difficult time putting them on. Of course I lent them a hand. The snow was very slick as I was descending, but I had no issues with it. Those who were coming up wearing micro-spikes were slipping and sliding and having a tough time. My guess is that they had an even tougher time going down.

 

This was suppose to be an 8.9 mile hike. Since there was no trail after about 2 .4 miles, and I basically went straight up, my mileage to the summit was only 3.22. It was even less on the descent. My total miles were 6.48, with 2,757′ of total elevation gain over 3.15 miles of ascent.

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