The 2007 TNAB Summer Solstice Hike to Granite Mountain was huge - as in huge turnout. 23 hikers showed up to partake in the annual event. As always, this hike was about the people:
Chris M, Chris S (CHR15), Dale, Damon, Dan, Darlene (with dad Jim and bro Trent), Dave, Don & Lynda (Mr & Mrs Constant), Jason (Coasty), Joseph, John (Moosefish), Larry & Jason, Monty (puzzlr), Russ, Steve (Yukon222), Schmidt Altitudes (Jeremy and Tisha), Yet and Yours Truly. WOW!
It was great to have a vet like Russ show up. Darlene made the trip all the way from New York just to be a part of the fun (she's got connections). And newbie Monty helped round out the (quite literal) crowd.
The group began arriving at the trailhead well before 6:00 PM and started up the trail in small increments, so the total size of the group was unknown until we all gathered on the summit. The weather turned out to be great, despite the threat of rain. The trail is in good condition, up to final approach to the lookout where it becomes alternating snow slog and large talus scramble. Fun stuff!
The group began gathering before 8 PM and stayed until after 9 PM. It was a bit chilly, but the food and good cheer kept spirits high. The large group was a bit much for the ranger on hand to monitor the festivities - we may have to come up with a different plan next year.
The return trip down was a kick, as folks took turns glissading into the small basin east of the summit under a half-full moon. (I understand there is some video, hehe). It took a while, but eventually we all trickled back to the trailhead, tired but elated. What a cool way to usher in the summer season!
As soon as everyone passed me, I was cruising along the trail, which was relatively easy to follow. Every so often, I would glance at my surroundings...which would take my breath away each time...or whatever was left of it.
Then came snow. Which thus far has stumped me. I was following a bootpath, when suddenly I found myself in the midst of boulders the size of Goliath as if I were David. I spent about 15-20 minutes trying to figure how to get out and back on the snow. Once I did, I congratulated myself (since nobody else was around to do it). Later, I found out that just a few feet to the left of the giant boulders was a nice little snow-free trail. Of course, I completely missed it; hence the Britney Spears reference above - reminiscent of P^3, but only that part. Because after that little detour, I was back on the trail. Yeah!
Mark, being the saint that he is, came back from almost being at the top to meet me at the talus field. He asked me if I wanted to do the snow or rocks. Without hesitation I pointed at the rocks.
My first scramble of this sort. Oh. What. Fun! Thank you Mark for guiding, assisting, and cheering me on.
Made it to the top. And lo and behold, there were people! And food! Altidude had a nice margarita waiting for me.
And since I apparently looked famished and wasted from that loooong journey, people started shoving cookies in my mouth.
Jen's cookies (lovely wife of Chris the "the shirt changer") were AMAZING!!!
Altidude and Altidudette, yukon222, Joseph, Chris M, and I waited while Mark wrapped up some business with the ranger, and we all headed down together.
The trip down was OMG so much fun! My first glissading experience. Yeah!
Daylight held out as long as it could, but eventually twilight faded, covering us in darkness...making the hike out that much sweeter...under the watchful eye of the moon, the twinkling of the stars, in the company of friends.
The weather forecast was wrong, again. Imagine that!! Never a rain drop up there, instead we had low 60's and mostly sunny skies. Quite the spread of refreshments layed out on top of the granite. Hopefully, someone remembered to shoot a picture of it as I was too busy enjoying the food and scenery to snap a picture.
Chris organized a care package for Ranger Kelly who was staying overnight in the tower. Kelly came out one last time to check up on us as we were heading down and to give Joseph one last goodbye hug. I can't believe he left her up there!
Much better glissading down the snowfields in the twilight rather than dropping down thru the large boulders. Here's a video link to Schmidt-ette heading down one of the stretches:
OMG, watching that video of Tish is both fun and scary. Has she no fear??
Don't tell me you've already forgotten that this was the same jagged dangerous mountain face that you glissaded down just a few minutes later. I'm pretty sure T was shooting video of you from down below while I took a couple of pictures of you. Of course, you did it when it was even darker and more difficult to see!!
So very glad we didn't miss out on what had to be the funnest TNAB yet, Yet...? It was hard to say what was the best part....the grueling climb up (to Tisha whose calves and bum were angry with her after Ruth ), the smorgasbord of food, the outstanding variety of libations, terrific views, whippets trying to steal everyone's food, wonderful company, or the way down.....our vote for the glissade back down - hands down!!
View from the trail
Waterfall on trail
Bear grass in bloom
Kiefer waits for Jeremy
Rowena's show pose
Melawka valley (Kaleetan, Chair, and Bryant?)
Granite Mtn View
Big Snow (?)
Overcoat and Lemahs in the clouds, Mt Thompson in foreground
Granite Mtn Lookout - home of Kelly's Butte
Mt Rainier floats over the clouds
Crystal, Cad, and Upper Tuscohatchie (Jeremy thinks Denny?)
Dig in, guys!
Rowzilla about to destroy the lookout tower!! Oh no, Kelly!!
Bombay advertisement (they should pay us for this! )
You cannot post new topics in this forum You cannot reply to topics in this forum You cannot edit your posts in this forum You cannot delete your posts in this forum You cannot vote in polls in this forum You cannot attach files in this forum You can download files in this forum