This was another hike that almost didn't happen. The weather was looking very poor for our target day (Sunday), up until just the day before... when it changed to merely acceptable. Not wanting to lose the opportunity to start off from the summer trailhead (because of the open Corey's Road), we decided to go for it. The forecast was for "partly sunny in the morning, cloudy in the afternoon, and a weather advisory after 3pm". Hmm.. that meant getting to the trailhead early and getting our hike done before the weather turned.
The day was very warm. Even at the crack of dawn at the trailhead (we started hiking at 6:50am), it was well above freezing. There was a bit more snow than last week's Sewards hike, but not much - just an inch or two of wet soft stuff.
Due to a good brisk pace, the kilometres (or miles, if you prefer) passed by relatively quickly, and we reached the Blueberry Ward Brook Lean-to shortly before 9am, just 2 hours from the start time. We barebooted all the way to the Lean-to - there was so little snow that to wear snowshoes would have meant scraping and battering them against boulders and rocks.
Along the way, Jenn realized that she'd dropped her gloves somewhere. We made a mental note to watch carefully for them on the way back.
January Muck - A new thing?
Andrew nearing Ward brook
Very shortly thereafter, we started up the well-trodden herdpath to Seymour (snowshoes on at this point). The path was very well-trodden; very well-formed. The weather continued super mild and there was even a glimmer of sun here and there. So far, the weather was holding.
The snow depth increased along with our altitude - snowshoes were essential on the path. The herdpath avoided the open slide partway up Seymour (which is the way I've gone up in the summer); instead, it wound up just to the right of it (facing uphill). It is a very very steep track, and I was thinking that it had excellent sliding potential on the way down (the snow conditions and the track itself were perfect).
After a good steep grind, we reached the summit at about 11am. Good time! We found our way quickly to the summit marker and then to the southern lookout. Strangely, no one had been to the excellent northwestern lookout, and I had to bushwack around a little to find it. Although it was cloudy, there were good, very clear and crisp views of the Santanonis and Sewards.