We all met up in La Canada and headed up Highway 2 for another backcountry adventure. After the Mt. Waterman trip, PHB and M were hooked. In fact, M bought her crampons and ice axe the very next day. PHB had gone looking for his gear, but had problems finding crampons to fit his size 14 boots. Regardless, we were able to borrow some. With a little more preperation than last time, we decided to bag a bigger, slightly more remote peak.
We drove to Islip Saddle (6,670ft.) where the 2 is closed. From there, we geared up for our hike to the Islip peak (8,250ft.). s we were gearing up we met Greg and Doug, two snow hikers that were also going to bag Islip that day. We started up the Pacific Crest Trail at 9:45am or so. It wasn't long before we began to get into snow. After we put our crampons on (first time for Greg) we started up the trail for about 15 minutes before we lost it because of the snow pack. WIthout further ado, we started booting up and across as best we could. With the fresh snow still soft from last Thursdays storm, our steps were pretty deep as we kicked them in. It wore us out and we took several breaks, but we knew it meant for some good riding down.
As we got higher into the hike we could see the rocks and boulders strewn across the 2 as well as some people walking up it. About halfway through the boot up we began to see the clouds and fog roll in. At one point we took a small break to admire Mt. Waterman, and the clouds. While there, we saw one of the coolest clouds ever. The moisture in the cloud acted like a prism and colored the clouds. It looked like a Monet with the sky in greens, blues, reds, and purples. We took some pictures, enjoyed the scene, and then kept booting up. Now that we could see the peak, and had a powerbar, we were renewed with energy.
A bout that time, Greg and Doug caught up to us. Greg was nice enough to help boot steps up and would stay ahead of us for most of the rest of the hike. He would also be the first to bag the peak. As we went up the ridge, we admired teh epic slopes we were going to be charging soon enough. At about 1pm we bagged the peak. We enjoyed an awesome view as the clouds rolled in and around the hills below us. After some picture taking (which didn't turn out as great as we'd hoped), we strapped in and left our marks on the pristine snow.
We ended up too low and at one point, hiked back up to the ridge. As we dropped in to our tracks we ended up in a nice gully with a stream running down the center. We boarded over a couple cool snow caves and had a great run down the valley.
When we reached the 2, we saw a lot of avy debris one chute over and checked it out. The debris and size of the avy was impressive and aew inspiring. It really hit home how little chance of survuval there is even with all the right equipment. A short hike back to the highway closure and we were back at the car by 3pm. The fog had really started to roll in, but it made for a nice cool drive home.
Ice axe is 65cm
Booting in was an effort
Rainbow Clouds and Islip Peak
Couldn't wait to charge it
M and PHB almost to the summit
Lunch at the summit
Avy debris covered the 2 and continued down the other side