Joined: 11 Feb 2002
Posts: 86 | TRs
Location: Seattle, WA
|The road up to Talapus Lake trailhead is mostly clear of snow. We ended up driving up to about 1/2 mile from the trail head, which beats slogging 3 miles up a snow covered road.
The snow was very crusty and alltogether missing in some spots lower down on the trail. Still plenty of snow after the first mile, though. We did see a couple groups out there with just boots, no snowshoes or crampons. However, with as much snow that is left and as soft as it is in places, I wouldn't have wanted to be in their shoes (pun intended).
Some interesting route finding led us straight up the face of Bandera and then over to catch the trail again. Say what you want about MSR snowshoes being noisy on crust (they are!), the Televator heel rest thingy is worth its weight in gold ascending the steep stuff. My calves are forever grateful for that purchase.
We stayed entirely on the west side of the creek and only went as far as Talapus Lk. Unfortunately, the ceiling today was about the same elevation as the lake (~3300') so there were really no views to be had and with the wind coming down from the saddle between Bandera and Pratt Mts, the lake wasn't all that pleasant to be at.
Good trip. No rain. We were up and back in a little less than 3 hours.
"Oh dang!" - Captain Amazing