When I arrived at the parking lot I heard a grouse whooping. Usually you hear them in early spring when you travel over snow. So I hoped it was a sign that snow was not far. But I had to carry my skis about an hour through lush green forest before I found the first patches and parked my sandals behind a tree and booted up. Then it soon became continuos enough to put on the skins, ski over a few bare spots and bypass others off the road. Above the shelter I could leave the road for good and soon it became invisible.
There was only one problem: Suncups! They were already very large and made walking definitely awkward. Still, just below the highpoint I passed some hikers, so skiing was faster after all. To my surprise, skiing downhill was actually easier. Putting my weight evenly on both skis and sitting back a bit I skimmed over the holes and grooves where while walking the tips would catch sometimes. Even turning was not too difficult, I didn't crash even once. Of course it was a rough ride and more strenuous than skiing smooth slopes.
About 2/3 of the way between highpoint and Elfin Lakes I dropped north down from the road to the meadows west of the shelter. It was not an ideal route. In one place I had to cross a short stretch of very steep forest, but once in the clearing it was straight forward to the saddle below the hut.
As I approached the saddle between the Gargoyles and Columnar Pk. for a late lunch I was wondering wether I... To see the full trip report you must login as a paid member. Use the Login Page. (message p3)
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