Thursday, October 8, 2009

Thursday, 10/08/09 Bear/S. Boulder

7 miles
3,500 vertical

With the weather today being in the low 30's and rainy, motivation to get out was quite low. In the mid afternoon, the rain transitioned to snow, which made it not seem as bad, so I figured what the heck, better start getting used to cold and snow. I initially debated bringing Sierra, as I knew she would really get mucked up, so I put her harness on, changed my mind again, took it off and ultimately put it back on again as I could not bear to leave her after all the build up.

We went up Shanahan/Fern on the easy side of moderate, which was fine after going somewhat hard the past 2 days. The higher we went, the trees and grass became pasted with ice and I continually bumped my head on low hanging icey pine branches. Once into Fern Canyon, the trail became mostly snow packed, 1/2 inch to an inch at most, just enough to make things a little slippery and very pretty.

We topped out at the post in 48, then another minute to the true summit. Negotiating the summit pitch and then the class 3 shortcut was interesting as the rocks were mostly wet and icey in spots. I proceeded at a cautious pace over to S. Boulder, arriving there in 12 minutes, then 12 minutes back to Bear. From the summit of Bear back down the steep trail to the saddle was an accident waiting to happen with the snow, ice and crappy traction shoes I was wearing, so I went super slow and easy.

Although I normally have to wait for Sierra, she was running circles around me on the upper mountain, sprinting around in the snow at mach speed with a huge smile on her face, making gleeful grunts and noises. This alone made the entire trip worth it. Though the day looked crappy at first glance, it was an awesome day to be out and I am thankful to have had the opportunity.

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