Howard VanBenthuysen, who makes the wonderful new trails signs for the GMC, saw this trip on the schedule and asked if we could bring up and install a replacement for the Laraway summit sign, which we did. Seven of us met at the Cambridge park & ride and took three cars up to the Codding Hollow trailhead, where we met our eighth participant. After recent thaws and rain and a subsequent hard freeze the snow surface was very hard, so we left snowshoes in the cars and started up in microspikes around 9:45. It was sunny and in the high 20s.

There was a faint track from previous hikers, but it was snow covered, so we managed to lose the trail once briefly on the way up. We reached the start of the cliffs around 11, and spent some time admiring the impressive ice columns coming off the cliffs. We got to Laraway Lookout around 11:30, but it was pretty windy so we didn’t stay long. We then continued up to the summit, ducking under a lot of snowy branches, and reached the summit around noon. I hauled out all the tools I’d been carrying (drill, wrenches, etc.) and found I didn’t have the right socket for the bolts holding the old sign, but managed to get an adjustable crescent wrench on them (both sheered off at the post when turned). The new sign went up easily, and will be a great improvement on the old one, which was weathered into near illegibility.

After a brief lunch we headed back down, meeting a few people and dogs headed up, and reached the cars around 2.

Participants: Steve Titcomb, Ray Geddens, Lori Johnson, Sunny Kim, Deb Forcier, Robynn Albert, Tom Smith, David Hathaway (leader).