Thursday, December 10, 2009
Conditions today were lousy, the wind overnight really drifted the snow onto the trail and made for some piffy slipping and sliding in the unconsolidated snow. There had been some foot traffic, but not enough to pack a trail, just enough to break up the crust and create a bunch of deep footprints and chunky snow. Though my effort should have equated to an ~18ish pace, I felt as though I was going nowhere and made the summit in 20:55, 14 seconds quicker than the day before where I went much easier. I bolted down the East side to the head of the valley trail in about 7 minutes where I met Allison and Sierra who took it easy up Dakota Ridge. We hiked together back up to the top and then down the S. Ridge. I was impressed by the HUGE tree that fell across the trail about 1/3 of the way up overnight and had already been cleared from the trail with a chainsaw. I had built up a good sweat on the first ascent, so I was absolutely freezing by the time we finished (~10 degrees or so).