Friday, January 31, 2014

Mount Rose during the drought of 2014

To cold to linger on the summit today
Again I was feeling much unmotivated; I just did not want to get out of bed.  But I did want to get in at least 4 good hikes in January and today would be my last chance.  I drug myself out of bed and fiddled around with my pack a bit.  Then I jumped on the internet and thought about just staying home and playing on my computer.  But Patches knew I was preparing to hike and she was so excited.  Patches enthusiasm to hike is what finally got me moving.  I thought about doing Marmot pass, but in the end I settled on boring old Mount Rose.

I started hiking in light rain.  Two other hikers were on the trail ahead of me.  They were wearing blue jeans and only had one tiny pack between the two of them.  Another hiker passed me just at the wilderness boundary; he also had a small pack but was probably much better prepared.  Maybe one day in the summer I will run up and down Mount Rose with nothing more than a water bottle.  I don’t think it’s a good idea to climb Mount Rose in February without packing extra clothes, rain gear a head lamp and a first aid kit. 

It took me three hours to reach the summit and I was kicking myself a bit for being so slow and wondering if I could ever do a through hike of the PCT as slow as I am.  I would love the hike the PCT and the AT when my daughter is younger.  In all of the times I have hiked up Rose I have never once passed anyone.  EVERYONE is faster than me EVERYONE!

The summit rock was wet and cold and slippery.  Snow was blowing sideways too.   I opted to have my lunch at the little ridgetop meadow rather than on the summit.  If I had waited a bit I might have gotten a good view from the summit as the sun came out while I was having lunch on the ridge. 

I’d say that about a quarter of an inch of snow fell while I was hiking.  The ridge was mostly bare of snow.  Normally this time of year the ridge has so much snow on it that I can’t even guess at its depth.  This is such a strange year!

Lunch on the ridge today was one Luna bar, one orange and a cup of hot instant coffee.  Patches had her very last TurboPUP bar for lunch.  Patches won a weekend supply of TurboPUP bars as her prize for being TuboPUP of the month in December.  She really liked her bars; I hope I can buy her some more in the future.

I took my time hiking down since I was tired and sore and my boots are just tight enough to make my big toes hurt on the down hills.  It actually took me more time to hike down than it took me to hike up.  I took a lot of pictures on my way down.  To save weight I packed just my 50mm 1.8 prime lens.  I would really rather has a 35mm prime lens.  50mm is just too much zoom for me with my crop sensor camera. I’m hoping to find someone who wants to trade lenses. 

When I pack just my little prime lens I can wear my camera over my neck and shoulder because it is so light and does not suffer from zoom creep.  My normal hiking lens is the Nikon 18-200mm; it is heavy and has terrible zoom creep so I have to carry my camera in a holster when I hike with it.
At horse camp I took a 20 mintue break with my feet up and I ate a banana.  After horse camp I quicked my pace and I made it back down to the trail head at about 4:30

I reached the trail register just in time to see a forest or park ranger slam on their brakes down on the causeway road and then sit there for a moment or two.  I have no idea what that was about.  Was he watching me or was he watching the lake?
Light snow near the summit

Lichen or fungi?

Shouler of either Mount Ellinor or Mount Pershing

Taken with my puppy portrait lens

No snow at 4,200 feet!

on the summit some snowflakes land on my pants

Moss sporophytes with the light hitting them just right

One hour rock.  It took me one hour and 8 minutes to reach
One hour rock today.  That's my slowest time I started keeping
track last year.

Just a dusting of snow near the top

Snow sparkles in the sun

Yay for wilderness!

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