As of 24 hours before the scheduled trip, we had 12 people signed up, but were looking at a rather unsettled weather forecast. Then, in those last 24 hours, four people pulled out because of the forecast, another two claimed infirmities, and one high-ranking GMC official who will remain unidentified claimed he had to do his taxes instead. (Clearly a case of misplaced priorities with this last guy.) […. he is so high-ranking, he could have edited this entry to save face, but decided to indulge Sir Richard in his little folly… The Editors] The forecast was for temperatures near freezing, and possible precipitation on the mountain, but that did not deter the five hardy people who showed up for the hike. We had planned to go from Lincoln Gap, but there was an unconfirmed report that it could not be reached even from the west, so we went for Batelle Trail instead.
Everyone carried snowshoes, but they were never needed, as the snow / ice / crust was hard-packed. We started up the trail just before 10 AM, and reached the spruce forest in a little less than an hour, by which time there was constant precipitation in the form of graupel. We kept up a good pace, and reached the shelter in one hour 20 minutes.
After a short period for all to put on microspikes of various sorts, we headed to the summit in what was now a decent snowstorm, reaching the top just after noon. The wind was not bad on top, and the temperatures not too cold, but the snow was wet, so we headed down after a short time, and reached the shelter again for lunch. Everyone kept the microspikes on until we reached the cars, because it was very slippery, even though the spikes were icing pretty badly on the lower mountain. We eventually got down to the cars just before 2 PM.
During the drive back, we were in the rain for a while. Clearly we had good karma of some sort to have been able to do the hike in what were actually acceptable conditions, with all the precipitation having been somewhat solid and therefore not too wet.
Participants – Dean Wiederin, Cathy Tilley, Lisa Charland, Peter Cottrell, Leader: Richard Larsen.