Sunday, January 17, 2010
Day 4- Mount Crickmer attempt
Because Crickmer seems an "easy" hike, I had decided to do this one in the winer. Well now I think this is not that easy all depending on the conditions.
I really hesitated to take the snowshoes because I had a strong feeling we would be facing some very hard snow but after reading some reports, I thought that we would be encountering fresh snow, especially on that high steep slope that leaves the trail at about 1050m.
We left from the trail head at about 8 am and made up our way the long logging road. I was surprised it seemed to be much faster than what I had read. We quickly made it to the bridge after going through some very nice views done by fresh clear cuts.
We felt that only after the bridge we were on an actual trail. We found it rather easy to find the cut to the old logging road.
We encountered some soft snow at about 800 m, nothing to slippery. But after 20 min we encountered a wash out, a bit tricky to cross it because some very hard snow was making this very slippery. We managed to make it safely with our ice axe cutting ourselves steps.
Than it was just sketchy slippery water bars one after one.
As we were getting higher I could see some fresh snow in the trees but nothing at our level, just icy snow that was very hard to walk on. I don t trust snowshoes on icy snow. As we made it at the point where you leave the old logging road, I quickly realized that we wouldn t go any higher today, there were clear traces that it had rained on the slope and it was now a vertical ice rink, we needed crampons...
We took the opportunity to train our self arrest techniques and after had a lot of fun butt sliding all the way down at some times very scary speeds. On our way back we crossed two other hikers who also did not plan to do the summit that day.
When we got back to the logging road we crossed lots of off road vehicles but the worst was on burma road where it was a zoo and drivers acting like they wer on the Paris Dakar...
We will come back to do the summit but the conditions are the same that we had in early December, also I m very impressed by the small amount of snow there is this year.