We met at 9 at the Underhill Center commuter lot. Since it hadn’t been plowed, Tracy opted to leave her Prius with no snow tires at the winter parking area instead of there. We then took two cars up to the State Park gate, giving a ride to two young French Canadian women from the winter parking area. It was cold (10 to 15 F) with fluffy snow on all the trees under a clear blue sky at 9:30 as we started up.
We ran into the aforementioned women again a ways below the West Chin, where they had lost the trail, and Wes helped retreive microspikes one of them had lost and directed them back to the trail, at the cost of a near impalement from a sharp stick and some sore knees from a large jump.
At this point it looked like we might have no views from the summit, as clouds had moved over it, but they had cleared by the time we reached it around 1 PM. We continued across the ridge, meeting a couple who planned to spend the night at Butler Lodge. They followed us to the Wampahoofus / Maple Ridge junction, where we parted ways. It was around 3 or 3:30 as we started down Maple Ridge, and we watched the sun set as we descended, losing the trail only briefly a couple times.
It was almost dark at 4:30 when we reached the CCC road and broke out headlamps. From there it was fast and easy going to reach the cars around 5:30.
David Hathaway (leader), with Wes Volk, Robynn Albert, Max Seaton, and Tracy Sweeney.