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Blackhead 2-8-2018

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  • Blackhead 2-8-2018

    Parked beyond the school bus turnaround and hoofed it to the trailhead. The town did a nice job of leaving a space to pull into the woods road which we did There were only a few inches of snow on the road so it was driveable to the trailhead with AWD but we choose not to. Another Subaru was at the Acra Point trailhead when we returned so it is definitely driveable.

    We went up and down through Lockwood Gap. Started with snowshoes in shallow and crunchy "snow". The snow eventually turned to powder at the summit and made various transitions in between. At first we had to circumnavigate the rocks. As we started the steep uphill part, the snow started to get softer and deeper. Between the spring and the switchbacks it got deep enough for good snowshoeing (maybe 8-10") . Working our way up from the col it got to 12-14" and 2-3' in drifts. Breaking trail became more challenging and sometimes, in front of a hidden boulder, we plunged into a snow drift that provided no lift.

    I had seen some hideous ice pictures from the switchbacks, but the snow at that point was deep and hard enough to hold on the ice and we were able to just snowshoe through. The crampons we carried in our packs provided good ballast.

    The sun came out as we hiked uphill from the col. We backtracked from the summit to have our snack in a sheltered and sunny part of the trail. When we were descending, so was the wind. It became comfortable once we cleared the switchbacks. I forgot that the snow was getting shallower so my glissade caught a rock and sent me for a tumble.

    There are 4 things that make for a perfect winter hike - 1. Cold, (around 10 deg,) 2. Bright warming sun, 3. no wind, and 4. Powdery snow. For some of the trip we had all 4. For most of the trip we had 3 of them. The trees (shrubs?) on the ridge to Blackhead were frosted and beautiful. The sky became bright blue with a touch of cloud making for some great vistas. Really feel privileged to have been out today.

  • #2

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    • #3
      Black Dome from Blackhead viewpoint 2-8-2018

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      • #4
        That's what I'm talkin about! Nice shots MrMagoo. I hope the cold holds out as long as possible on Saturday.
        And because of all their tears
        Their eyes can't hope to see
        The beauty that surrounds them
        Isn't it a pity
        -George Harrison

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        • #5
          Photo credits belong to Longstrider who got that trail name yesterday. Whenever I was behind him, trying to stay in his snowshoe tracks, the name fit...

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