|Apr. 30, 2006 (Sun.)
|Elevations: 3556 feet, 3084 feet; Order of Height: 85, 152
|Participants: Andrew Lavigne, Jennifer Innes, Sara Ednie, Brian Connell, Bodo, Yi Wang
Ambitiously billed as the first of our "2006 summer mountaineering training" outings. In addition to getting out and into the mountains, the general idea was to start getting the folks who are going to be heading out in July on the mountaineering course together, so that we could get to know each other.
We chose something pretty reasonable and easy : Noonmark, combined with an ascent of Round. I'd never done Round Mountain before, and although it didn't look like much on paper, I'd heard that it was quite a nice peak.
Our weather was a fine sunny spring day. In fact, it was so nice, so warm, that it really felt like a mid-June hike. The only clue was the lack of leaves on the trees. We ascended via the Stimson trail up Noonmark, and it was not until almost the very top that we encountered any snow remnants at all. What a huge difference from just three weeks before on Marshall!! I'd packed my crampons but they ended up being training weight only!
Wonderful views everywhere as we ascended the upper open ledges on Noonmark. Took a slight variation to the top, directly scrambling up a few of the steeper ledges instead of taking the trail in spots. Again, good foreshadowing of our summer course!!
After a most pleasant summit stop (no wind, very warm, and suprisingly few other hikers), we headed off to the east, down to the junction with the Dix trail. Once there, we headed back north to the height of land between Noonmark and Round. Here we split up, with Yi and Brian continuing on straight, bypassing Round Mountain (Brian had twisted his ankle and didn't want to stress it, and Yi had hurt her finger). The rest of us headed up to Round Mountain.
I'd never been on Round mountain before, so it was nice to hike a bit of new trail. The way up went very quickly, and there are several very nice open spots on the way up. The summit of Round is even better, with lots of smooth, open rock. Very nice for a less-than-3200 foot peak! Here we had a proper lunch and lazed around.
The north route down was in good shape and again there were a few good lookout spots on the way down. Near the very bottom the trail winds through some nice open forest (has a slightly west-coast feel), and skirts the edge of some fairly steep dropoffs. In fact, in one spot you can look down right onto the St. Huberts trailhead carpark. Shortly thereafter the trailhead is reached and, in a few more steps, the parking lot. Felt longer than 10.5km, but overall pretty easy. This loop hike is highly recommended, and offers a maximum of good views and trails.
Trip Reports, Image Galleries or Other References:
Image Gallery: April 2006 Noonmark-Round Loop Hike