Tuesday, November  19, 2019
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courtesy RHanel
Colin
A small open bit
Very well tracked
With such a good trail to follow, we made good time up the Orebed Brook Trail. Midway up, the track veered off the official path and up an open slide. This was a nice change of pace, and it also showed us that the cloudy day was indeed starting to break up. Maybe, just maybe, we would get some views up top!
courtesy RHanel
Starting to climb a slide
Downslope shot
Andrew and Jenn switchbacking
Soon we arrived at the col between Gothics and Saddleback. Here was were the 'fun' would begin, because we could see that the trail towards Gothics had only a very faint covered track. There was going to be a lot of work in someone's near future - but at least we only had five or six hundred feet of elevation to go.
Colin and Lawrence
At the col
Up into the mist
Up we went. Roland, for some reason, was seized by the desire to break trail for us, so he raced off ahead. The trail gets very steep going up the southwest ridge of gothics, and even following in Roland's tracks, it was very difficult. I could only imagine how tiring it was for him. As we rose higher, we emerged onto the steep, open spine of the ridge. We encountered annoying, deep, stairstep-like snowdrifts, which were very difficult to negotiate. A wall of steep, soft snow is very hard to snowshoe up!
courtesy RHanel
courtesy RHanel
Roland nearing cable
Andrew and co.
Steady Progress
As we got higher up, the snow was windblown and firmer, and at times blown down to a hard crust. These sections were welcome, because they provided much better footing for our crampon-laden snowshoes. There were, however, a few tricky sections that were not quite bad enough to warrant crampons.
courtesy RHanel
courtesy RHanel
a little help, please?
Upper Cable section
Pooped
The trail alternated between open and hard and sheltered and with deep drifts (again, Roland continued to do a great job of trail-breaking). We were very close to the summit rocks of the subsummit of Gothics, and we had one final steep and exposed stretch to go. Unfortunately, it was a little to hard and open for our snowshoes. So, even though there was less than 50 feet of ascent, we stopped to switch to crampons. Better safe than sorry.
Tough Sloggin'
Tough Sloggin'
A bit o' cable-haulin'
Crampon time
Carmpon Time
Cramponing up the last steep bit
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