Tuesday, July 1, 2008

trinity alps trip report

Hello Internets,

Clark and I made an attempt to venture deep into the heart of the trinity alps mountain range. Mother Nature let loose a surprise snow storm that dumped 15-20 inches of snow, 4-7 foot drifts, avalanche conditions on north east ridges. Stock stoppers replacing most of the trail for the first three miles, maybe 10 downed trees per mile.

Thank you for visiting my blog, I hope you enjoy the show,

P1030645.JPG
Clark navigating a downed tree, what they call a stock stopper.

P1030649.JPG
physically draining

P1030652.JPG
Down trees behind us, we enter the snow covered part of the mountain

P1030654.JPG
Snow melt had the streams moving well

P1030671.JPG
I'm not a weather man, but I don't think the 97% chance of sunshine is accurate

P1030681.JPG
We take turns standing on a big rock to view the incoming weather system, it should blow through quick. . . right ? ..... right ????

P1030686.JPG
we push on into higher elevations, scrambling to a saddle between lion and foster lakes


P1030690.JPG
Weather approaching, legs tired from climbing trees, we make a dash to the one flat spot in the area we can reach

P1030693.JPG
Upper Lion lake

P1030694.JPG
we make it to the campsite, and immediately it starts to snow

P1030697.JPG
WTF ?!!!!?

P1030703.JPG
I don't like this at all :-(

P1030709.JPG
Before we can cook dinner, before we can start a fire, before we are mentally prepared to winter camp, it happens . . . In the early morning, high winds begin to collapse the tent, and we use trekking poles to reinforce the structure, and our pan to remove snow from the perimeter.

P1030717.JPG
the wind increases, the snow increases, and now we are in white out conditions. No ropes, no crampons, no snowshoes, no axes. We are not prepared to deal with the conditions and choose to wait it out.

P1030726.JPG
36 hours or so later, we get a fourty minute break in the storm and pack up and dash for the forest

P1030728.JPG
The snow goes all the way to the Kings Range (Lost Coast) on the coast.

P1030735.JPG
Avalanching snow on the northeast faces

P1030739.JPG
more avalanches

P1030748.JPG
Spring is in full swing

P1030750.JPG
8-10 feet off the ground, even wide balance beams drain the mind and body

P1030751.JPG
He made it, and turns to corner on another tree traversal

P1030754.JPG
TECHNIQUE : poles with straps can be left hanging from the wrists while leaping through downed trees. People using strapless poles can not do this move.

P1030764.JPG
TECHNIQUE : Railriders pants have a 15 minute maximum drying time, and inov 8 295's dry fast too. Waste no time taking off shoes and sock, just walk on through.

4 comments:

telmo32 said...

Amazing...great pics.!

Cayenne Redmonk said...

Thanks, it was a new experience, and will help me trim down my gear list for winter trips.

GabeD said...

That picture that says Lion or Foster lake? Is definitely Upper Lion lake. :)

Cayenne Redmonk said...

Thanks GabeD, I'll update the caption