Post subject: July 22, 2006 Unicorn Peak saddle, Tatoosh Range (MRNP)
Posted: Mon Jul 24, 2006 11:39 am
Joined: Mon Nov 15, 2004 6:48 am Posts: 206 Location: WA
The forecasted heat wave was definitely something I considered before deciding on a destination this past weekend. The criteria for this hike was shorter approach, bodies of water, snow off course and when available shade.
Leaving my house by 7am I was kinda miffed about the weather. High clouds floated overhead looking ready to delivery some thunder. By the time I passed Eatonville I started feeling the sensation of slowly starting to stick to my seat. Muggy.
By 9am I was hiking in overgrowth. Glad I brought the bug juice. Too bad they don't work on biting flies though. Maybe some fly paper next time. The hike into Snow Lake went quick and soon I found myself walking on boulders.
Here's looking back downÃ¢â‚¬Â¦
Here's looking up atÃ¢â‚¬Â¦
About half way upÃ¢â‚¬Â¦
From the top looking downÃ¢â‚¬Â¦
Once in the basin I was amazed but not too surprised to find out how much snow has melted from last weekend. If conditions were like this here then I'm sure the tarn between Castle and Pinnacle Peak is ready for the annual Slush Cup. Looking up I was unsure if I would be able to connect a line from Unicorn Saddle down. Answer would require one short carry.
While climbing up I noticed a flock of climbers descending from Unicorn's shoulder to the saddle. Before long they were down climbing the snow to the rocks. Once they made it to the rocks some of the climbers were kind enough to send some down. That didn't bother me as much as the fact that the slope now was littered with them and I would have to ride down it. Glad I brought my crampons so I could ascend the steeper side.
Outta harms way and almost to the topÃ¢â‚¬Â¦
By 11:30 I was lounging at the saddle staring at the north and south. I was just outta view but could hear the climbers still releasing rocks.
My view southÃ¢â‚¬Â¦
My view northÃ¢â‚¬Â¦
Realizing that the sun was not gonna make a full appearance I decided to head down just after noon. The snow didn't soften up as much as I had expected but still soft enough to carve though a bit bumpy.
Looking back up at the saddleÃ¢â‚¬Â¦
Back up a little further downÃ¢â‚¬Â¦
The hike out was peaceful and the bugs made sure you moved swiftly. Damn horse flies.
_________________ You will know when Americas in trouble when the Mexicans stop coming...Carlos Mencia