This hike was on Monday, Memorial Day Holiday, and early on seemed to generate a reasonable number of interested people – until the weather intervened. Sunday had been beautiful, so some folks had moved their hikes to that day. The outlook for Monday was thunderstorms, which caused some concerns and cancellations. After all the cancellations for various reasons, only 5 hearty hikers headed up the mountain a little after 9 AM.
There had been a few sprinkles around 8 AM, but then things cleared as we headed up CCC Road and then Halfway House Trail, to the point that there was a lot of blue sky. But, on the Mansfield ridge, the weather changed again, and an ugly line of rain formed about 5 miles north of the mountain. Since it seemed to be heading northeast, we continued the last short distance to the summit, but quickly left when there was a long crack of thunder from the storm.
We decided to retreat down Laura Cowles rather than risk the exposure of the planned Sunset Ridge descent, but rain had started, and Laura Cowles was becoming extremely treacherous. It seemed that the storm was moving away, so we changed the plan again, now heading back to Sunset Ridge. It continued to rain for a while, even with some hail, but the storm was clearly moving away, and everyone had good gear. We got to Sunset Ridge and went down that way. The weather improved significantly, to the point that people were coming up Sunset Ridge again. We were down at the parking lot a little after 2 PM.
Participants – Jan Grady, Mike Grady, Jenny Lynch, Sheri Larsen, Rich Larsen