We weren't expecting great weather today and two of us had to be back in town early for commitments. Welldigger's Ass seemed like a short enough hike that none of us had ever done so we went with it. As we were driving we could see sun shining on the peaks near Stevens and our spirits immediately lifted. As we got to the pass we entered thick fog but knew we'd be hiking above it soon.
We parked at Yodelin next to the building just east of the pass and walked to the upper parking area where we started on a road that took us most of the way up to the ridge near Point 5023. From here we hiked eastward along the crest losing a bit of elevation before the final climb up to the 5273' summit which is treed. We continued until we found a sunny spot further east with some views and called it good for lunch.
On the way down we ran into a split boarder who was the only other person we saw today. We took a detour which made the trip even shorter but all of us fell down in the steeper terrain due to the crust under shallow, fresh snow. Tree wells were ready to swallow us up but fortunately we all made it down safely.
4 miles and 1700' of gain.
-------------- Without obsession, life is nothing. John Waters
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