04-11-2007, 03:35 PM
This hike was started from rt.42 with just a trace amounts of snow near the base.I decided to take the north rt.skirting along the ridge of Balsam Mt..I did this to avoid the picker bushes that I cannot forget from the last time I was up there in 9-06.,nasty.The snow amounts increased to about 5 or 6" of hard pack with a few inches of powder on top of that at 3300'.Once on top of the ridge I followed it southeast on Mt. Sherrill's shoulder to the summit canister.The trees on top were encrusted with snow and ice,and I was getting knocked on the head with some chunks because it was melting in the sun.Once I signed in for # 408,I headed east towards North Dome down the steep herd path to the col.I did have on crampons at this point,but the snow was melting fast.I kept heading east up some steeps and ledges towards North Dome's summit. The snow was not melting as fast on that side ,and I was treated to blue skies and lots of snow and sun,perfect.I was just enjoying the scenery and various animal tracks and soon I arrived at N.D.'s summit # 409.I reversed course and headed back over Sherrill.Just a beautiful day outdoors playing hooky from work.:D There are some picker bushes on the north ridge also. Last years caterpillar infestation caused alot of nettles and picker bushes to thrive in some areas.