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  1. #1
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    Grindstone Mountain Trudge

    Early Saturday morning (October 22, 2016) Tom Janisch, Bill Wicheta and I headed up Chatter Creek thinking we would make a quick day trip of the Lake Edna, Ladies Pass, Frosty Pass. Frosty Creek, Icicle Creek Circuit with an ascent of Grindstone Mountain and perhaps a side trip to Lake Bringham and Lake Flora thrown in for good measure. Ambitious plans are easy when you're planning at home with a map, but things can change when you actually get outside and find out how wimpy you really are... or how much snow there really is... or both.

    At about at about the 5,700-foot level we start hitting more than the occasional skiff of snow. By 6,200 feet the snow was deep enough and breakable to slash our blazing speed of about 2 miles per hour in half. It soon became apparent we wouldn't be completing a big circuit at this grinding pace, but the pace did seem perfectly appropriate for bagging Grindstone Mountain. So up it we went. We crossed over the north ridge of Grindstone at about 7,300 feet and traversed over to north slopes leading to the summit. Much of the snow travel was over blocky ground littered with granite boulders and perhaps 18 inches of snow. There was enough snow to bridge many gaps between boulders, creating shin-banging (or perhaps ankle-breaking) holes when those bridges were weighted. We traveled slow and, thankfully, avoided breaking any of the six ankles along for the ride.

    Had we been intelligent, we would have carried snowshoes and pulled those from packs at snowline. However, we three dolts have been wandering around the wilderness for 40 years and have yet to encounter any wisdom, so this trip obviously found us up a snow slope without a shoe. While we didn't find any wisdom, we did find some good views.

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  2. #2
    I love the picture of the tree with the windblown snow on it. Looks like a great day!

  3. #3
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    Thanks. It was a good slice of weather between rainy days. Looks like this weekend may be the opposite.

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