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Sawmill and Pinos: Wind and Ice

Peak Summited2020 Sawmill Mountain
Type of HikeDay hike
TrailheadNordic Base
Road ConditionsRoad suitable for all vehicles
Bug StatusNo bugs
Snow ConditionsSnowfields to cross - could be difficult
Trail ConditionsTrail in good condition

8 AM weekday Mount Pinos and Sawmill Mountain hike a few days after winter's first light snow. A sunny day with nice temperature, but the southerly sustained wind just west of Mount Pinos exposure at the podium and on the first switchback was cold and often over 50 MPH. It wasn't as bad on Sawmill but was still difficult to take selfies (in addition often “blinking” on my own selfies, SMH).

As far as the trails, I worried about losing them in the snow but apparently a few warmer days and nights melted much of it leaving 2/3 of the trails dirt and 1/3 snow and ice and earlier hikers already re-stomped the paths making them easy to follow. Of the 1/3 trail snow, much has already turned to ice but easily handled with micro spikes. The ridiculous sustained wind was more challenging than the snow and ice, but fortunately it was only at southern exposures and less than a quarter mile total.

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