02-04-2006, 07:30 PM
Tried to beat the forcasted rain today and did pretty well. A few sprinkles on the way down but not enough to even get wet. Mostly bare ground for the first couple of miles. A little ice between some of the rocks but easily avoided. We carried both snowshoes and crampons because we didn't know what we would encounter up higher. There was two guys in front of us that stayed in bare boots to the summit of Wittenburg but turned around there. They told us they had planned to do the W/C/S loop but didn't bring anything for traction so they turned around. We met two other guys at the trailhead planning to stay at Terrace Mt. lean-to and then two more backpackers coming in as we were coming down. We put our snowshoes on a little bit above the junction to the lean-to. Mostly for traction but the snow was also soft and wet. There was a mix of snow and ice and bare ground all day. If it gets cold crampons may be a better option but we managed all day in snowshoes. Charlene did take hers off a couple of times to negotiate tricky spots and the very tricky spot approaching Cornell's summit would have been easier in crampons but we didn't bother. Even the ice was soft enough to give a little bite. We spent a little time snacking on Wittenburg and then had some cocoa on Cornell and at the view on the Slide side of Cornell before heading back. Again took our snowshoes off just above the junction and made it back to the car just as the rain showers were picking up. No porcupines. No problems with beer (cooler). Now back to rehydrating.