|Apr 19, 2015 (Sun)
|Elevations: 3035 feet, 4420 feet, 4627 feet; Order of Height: 152, 20, 12
|Participants: Andrew Lavigne, Jennifer Innes, Caroline Doucet, Peter Bujold, Brian Connell, Matt Wilkins
A beautiful (weather and scenery-wise) but horrible (snow conditions-wise) traverse along Rocky Peak Ridge, and a kick-off to a prep for a 2015 version of the Great Range Traverse.
Plenty of dry, open ground down low at the New Russia end, all the way up to and over Blueberry Cobbles. A few patches of soft snow on north-facing slopes, but nothing significant until the top of Bald. Beautiful clear skies and calm conditions. As usual, the walk over the Cobbles was most pleasant.
After Bald, every spot in the trees had significant snowpack. Furthermore, the snowpack was mushy and very soft. Putting on snowshoes did not stop post-holing, but it did make passage at least possible. We left our snowshoes on for the period dry open spots, since it would have been too troublesome to take them off and put them back on repeatedly. The climb up to the east end of Rocky's ridgeline was very tiring with the snow conditions, and we took a long break at the first of the good lookouts near the top. Following Rocky's ridgeline was a bit better, with frequent dry bedrock sections and a relatively flat grade. And, of course, good views west to Rocky's and Giant's summits.
Deep soft, yucky snow returned around the Lake Mary Louise area, briefly abated along the open meadows, then returned just before Rocky's summit. We were glad to see others on the summit of Rocky, as this likely meant some extra traffic to beat down the trail beyond. This proved to be the case, and the postholing ceased to be a problem after Rocky Peak. Our slow pace from the bad snow conditions meant it was after 5pm by the time we reached Giant's summit. We split up to improve the logistics of the car shuttling, with three of us arriving more than thirty minutes before the rest. We were therefore able to retrieve the far vehicle before the remainder of our group arrived at the trailhead. Eleven long and tiring hours - but good training for a re-do of the Great Range Traverse hike!
Trip Reports, Image Galleries or Other References:
Image Gallery: April 2015 Rocky Peak Ridge Traverse