Sunday, December 5, 2010

5 days

I went for a hike up yesterday up Granite Mountain to get some quality time slogging through the snow. There are two routes routes people typically take to the summit - the standard route winds back and forth along the face until it hits the east ridge just above treeline. The other, less traveled route, diverges from the normal route at the crossing of an avalanche gully and heads straight for the summit. I wanted a workout so I took the route heading straight up the avalanche gully and up the snow slopes. There were fresh tracks up the gully, which I followed for about 5 minutes until I caught up with the two guys breaking trail. They seemed pretty exhausted and paused for a break, so I forged ahead, postholing through snow from knee to hip deep. Here's a shot of the trail I blazed to the summit, taken on the descent:

As I was just out of the chute, I noticed I had picked up a friend: a middle-aged Japanese man was hiking my footsteps, his nose to my butt. As I looked around the mountain and saw nothing but open space, I couldn't help but laugh that I had found myself feeling so cramped. I understood the energy he was saving by hiking my tacks but the proximity still seemed unwarranted. At any rate, once we reached the summit, he turn to me and thanked me for helping him up, saying he wouldn't have made it had I not been there. It was nice to see his appreciation and my feathers were smoothed. Here's a video I shot with my bare hand from the summit, where it was so windy, it practically froze in place the second I took it out of my glove:

Finally, here's a video from a hike I did up Granite Mt. early this summer with a good buddy Trevor. We were heading down around mid day and there was a steady, but non-threatening slide down this very same chute:

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