12/4 – Mansfield Forehead via Rock Garden
Seven of us met at the Underhill Center commuter lot at 9 AM (thought we were expecting a seventh, but a cancellation note got lost) and took three cars up to the Stevensville trailhead. It was partly sunny and seasonably cold as we started up Butler Lodge trail around 9:25. The bottom portion of the trail was bare, and we never encountered any real snow. But patches of ice started appearing and by the time we reached Butler Lodge around 11:00 everyone had on microspikes, including the trip leader, notorious for never wearing them. Even with them some of the upper stretches of Maple Ridge and Wampahoofus were a bit dicey. We took the Rock Garden trail from Butler Lodge, but went around the steep canyon descent, which had some scary icicles hanging over it, and had all hand and foot holds completely encased in ice. Might have been a nice ice climb with full crampons, ice hammers, and ropes. We reached the Maple Ridge junction around noon, and again skipped the face climb on Maple Ridge which also had all hand and foot holds encased in ice. We got to the Wampahoofus junction around 12:40 and the Forehead around 1:10, then headed back to reach the Wampahoofus junction again around 1:30 and took it back to Butler Lodge, which we reached around 2:10. We then headed down Butler Lodge to reach the cars around 3:20. Participants: Kara West, Michael Mortelliti, Kate Eberle, Jill George, John Effinger, Melissa Barber, and David Hathaway (leader). Photos: David, Melissa, John, Kara, and Kate.
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