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Donaldson, Emmons, and Seward - 2-11-19

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  • Donaldson, Emmons, and Seward - 2-11-19

    While climbing Seymour Sunday in such fantastic conditions with a snow storm in the forecast and needing another set of DES for my February list, it became clear that Monday should be the day to go. Fortunately Seymour would be quick allowing ample time for drying all the gear for a preparations for the next morning.

    Arrived at the PA just past 6am to gear up and in time to see the plow truck pass the gate. I didn't see it again but while walking in the truck for carrying out cut trees went by. I took the old trail as suggested to me rather than the horse trail to the old turnoff (I'm sure that there are others tiring of that horse trail route). The packed tracks from the toeknee's group are visible raised showshoe marks above the base and firm which eased my travel. At Caulkins Brook the bucket was uncovered and when I got to the normal place I crossed over a small ice dam.

    The way up Caulkins was easier to follow than I expected with a mostly obvious bowl depression in the snow marking the way. At the high elevation brook crossing I stopped for some food. I've been having really good luck with Pop Tarts, recently strawberry frosted. They go down fairly easily and I experience a real boost of energy. Together with some GORP and a couple pieces of cut up cheddar I was ready to continue.

    After I got through the narrow lanes of spruce into the open above the brook crossing the path became less obvious. At times I could see it looking downhill but uphill not so easy; so, I climbed by path of least resistance looking for lanes. This got me to the ridge at a point above the usual junction. The route from there to Donaldson went through some chokepoints and perhaps recently there were others (possible 2/2 per the register) which helped in route finding.

    Other than getting to the path up the second Donaldson peak from there to Emmons the path was fairly obvious but with a low ceiling. As proof I came away with several scratches on my face.

    The trip over to Seward has it's main obstacle getting trough the first valley to the intermediate climb. (GPS waypoints helped here) The walk through there is longer than you think it should be. Having gotten over the intermediate bump and down it was lot easier to stay on track. The climb was fully covered in snow.

    At the ledge downhill from the summit I saw what I was hoping for. Snowshoe tracks. Probably from the 2-9 hiker that I'd seen tracks for on the Seymour trip. I was thinking to just follow the tracks down the North trail but then I'm getting ahead.

    There's pretty deep snow on Seward summit. Though the sign is still visible you can get almost a 360o view from beside it. Following the tracks down was difficult blown in and only one way tracks going down into a gully that I'd previously not known. I wonder if there is a better way to get up the cliffs from the west side through this gully, or maybe it's just the deep snow.

    Not wanting to explore the gully and just go home, I set off trying to get to my usual way out and find the uphill tracks. I overshot and eventually looking up I see I'm down below the cliffs. So climb back up to the base follow it west and I find the North trail with snowshoe tracks ascending. The north trail is completely covered with snow all the way (except the usual wet spots down low). It would be a nice chute to go skiing down. Getting to the bottom of the nice chute I arrive at snowshoe tracks from the 2/2 group and the 2/9 climber. Somewhere along the way the downhill tracks of the 2/9 climber merge and all is good.

    After that it's just a very long walk out. I get to the register before dark and past the first climb on the road before needing the headlamp. Walking on hard ice with micro spikes gets old fast but eventually I'm done and got to get moving because Tuesday I'm wanting to climb Marshall before the snowstorm arrives.

    Attached Files
    Last edited by Hear the Footsteps; 02-13-2019, 09:53 AM.

  • #2
    Awesome. Way to go . Congratulations


    • #3
      Another incredible journey, Don. Really impressive! Also impressive that anyone climbed the north side this winter.


      • Hear the Footsteps
        Hear the Footsteps commented
        Editing a comment
        Yes impressive to climb the North trail after the most recent snowstorm