Forum Index > Trip Reports > A Kick in the Snowgr*ss? (Embarrassing Edit)
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Mesahchie Mark
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PostSun Sep 30, 2007 11:04 am 
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***********************************************************
It is with a large dose of humility that I was wrong about summiting Snowgrass.  Based on the route we took and the topography etc, we in fact climbed Ladies Peak (Pt 7708).  The ridge run would have been much longer on Snowgrass, for starters.

What does this mean to me?  Well, I'm embarrassed, but it was still a great hike with great people, and we did reach a summit.  Now I have the chance to go back and bag both Snowgrass and Big Chiwaukum.

Thanks, Yana, for correcting our assumptions - it just didn't feel right that we couldn't find the summit register!

Cheers,
-Mark
**********************************************************

Snowgrass Mtn via Whitepine, 9/29/07

In prior years, the TNAB season wrapped up with a weekend thru hike of the Enchantments.  The 'Chants are great, but I can only go there so many times, and I really couldn't stomach the idea of another thru hike.  So this year, I proposed a new destination:  Snowgrass Mountain.  It would make for a long day hike, and relatively close-in.  Three TNAB'ers and one TNAB virgin signed up:  Carla (dicey), Nikolai (twodogdad - TDD), Steve (Yukon222), and the virgin, Yana.

Everyone but TDD met up at the Monroe Smokestack at 6 AM.  We all piled into the Yukonmobile and headed east.  The low cloud cover and occasional sprinkles reminded us it wasn't summer anymore.  At the White Pine campground, we picked up TDD, who car-camped, and proceeded to the trailhead.

It's a long drive to the trailhead (or so it seemed).  Finally, we were ready for action by 7:50 AM.  Our first goal was to reach the Whitepine/Wildhorse trail junction.  We covered the 2.5 miles in less than an hour.  Good start!

We would spend the next 6.6 miles on the Wildhorse trail.  It's a good path, nice grade, that climbs to over 5,000 ft el and stays there for the duration.  Biggest issue was wet, overhanging brush - yuck.  About 3 miles in on this section, we caught a full view of Big Chiwaukum's westside.  It looked very inviting...
Fall Colors and Arrowhead
Fall Colors and Arrowhead
Big Chiwaukum
Big Chiwaukum
Wildhorse Trail
Wildhorse Trail

We made a small detour onto the Grace Lakes trail (not on the Green Trails!), then made our way to Frosty Pass just a few minutes past noon.
Frosty Pass
Frosty Pass

From there, we took the left fork onto Tr 1570, which heads southeasterly past Lakes Margaret and Mary.  About 1.5 miles in, it was time to leave the trail and ascend Snowgrass' south ridge.
Icicles
Icicles

There was snow, and there was grass.  The combination was a slippery pain in the ___.  We made for the cliffline, and followed it east.  Finally on the eastside of the ridge, an advantageous gully presented itself, from which we gained the main south ridge.

During this section, TDD started to experience numbness in his feet from the chilly conditions, which slowed his progress.  Unable to effectively communicate with him, the rest of plowed ahead up the ridge.  Snow accumulations on the ridge was 3-4".  The four of us slogged on.  Right before the summit, we had to duck around to the east one last time, then up to the summit proper.  We knew it was the summit, 'cause there was no place else to go!  It was 2:40 PM.  Still, I was disappointed we couldn't find the summit register in the snow-covered rocks (you lucked out, Randy!).
Ptarmigans?
Ptarmigans?
Almost There
Almost There
Summit:  Snowgrass Mtn
Summit:  Snowgrass Mtn

We didn't stay long because the time was late, the views were poor, the weather was chilly, and we were separated from TDD.  Descending Snowgrass was every bit as tedious as ascending it.
Heading Back, Main Ridge
Heading Back, Main Ridge

Along the way, we found the first of several markers TDD left behind so we knew he was ahead of us.  It was with a sense of relief that we re-acquired the trail by 4:00 PM.

All that was left was a 10+ mi hike back to the cars.  We caught up to TDD around 5:00 PM, below Frosty Pass.  Three more hours of near-continuous hiking brought us safely back to the trailhead shortly after 8:00 PM.  We toasted our accomplishment with some Irish "dew", then made a stoppa at the Sultan Ixtapa.  Good group, good times - a fitting capper to the TNAB season!

Estimated Trip Stats:
12 hrs 20 mins
22+ mi hiked
6500 ft el gained

--------------
Cheers,

Mesahchie Mark
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wildernessed
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PostSun Sep 30, 2007 11:59 am 
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up.gif I have looked at that coming in from Chatter Creek at some point.
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Randy
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PostSun Sep 30, 2007 12:49 pm 
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Looks like a fun trip, I would have joined if not for Snowgrass being a repeat.

Too bad you guys couldn't find the register, haha dicey!
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loper
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PostSun Sep 30, 2007 1:32 pm 
summit?
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We tried to do Snowgrass this summer and are unsure if we actually were at the summit due to weather conditions.  Maybe you can help us out (and settle a good natured dispute).
We headed in from Chatter Creek TH, camped by Florence on a warm sunny August day.  We woke up the next day to cold, wet, blustery, fog.
We headed uphill before Frosty Pass (opposite side than you) and know we made it to the saddle. We continued up to a cairin of white rocks at the edge of a cliffy area.  Given the wet and weather we decided not to continue across a narrow bridge and climb up another blocky bit of rock.  Couldn't really see anything except that it looked like a fall from the rock bridge would result in falling off the mountain.  Our altimeters were low by a few hundred feet but could have been weather.
A return trip is in order  but I am curious as to where you all topped out.
Thanks
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Malachai Constant
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PostSun Sep 30, 2007 1:38 pm 
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Wished we could have came along but slept in after Summerland. Went there years ago while snow camping at Lake Mary sounds like a similar route the South ridge leads to the top and was pretty flat with some slightly lower crags to the north. Looks like fun.

--------------
"You do not laugh when you look at the mountains, or when you look at the sea." Lafcadio Hearn
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Justus S.
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PostSun Sep 30, 2007 2:11 pm 
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You couldn't do Snowgrass without snow. hockeygrin.gif  Nice work you guys.  up.gif
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Magellan
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PostSun Sep 30, 2007 3:34 pm 
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Quote:
12 hrs 20 mins
22+ mi hiked
6500 ft el gained

Inconceivable!  No wonder I didn't go.  Nice work y'all.  Hell of a day out there.
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yukon222
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PostSun Sep 30, 2007 5:54 pm 
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A long day but worth every minute!  Fall colors were good in a lot of the area and very nice in a few select spots.  Wet grass and overhanging snow laden alder branches weren't quite as enjoyable but necessary.  Ascending up on slick grass and loose rock made the ascent and descent interesting.  Mark commented that "you can't really fall very far from here, it isn't really that steep".  A few seconds later, a 12" rock broke loose and we all watched it bounce, tumble, roll and flip down the face for 400', 500', .....   eek.gif

The last 2 1/2 miles to the vehicles took just short of forever.  Kept thinking we were close to the rigs but we were never "almost close".  Headlamps came on to light the rocky path.  A little light rain finally started to fall which kept the "soft" sand dust down to tolerable levels.  Ah, back out of the Wilderness once again.  Enjoy the pics!

Heading up thru colors
Heading up thru colors
Nikolai in snow
Nikolai in snow
Carla and Yana with slippery snow
Carla and Yana with slippery snow
Gray and white
Gray and white
Mark "boondocking" with Boon and Doc
Mark "boondocking" with Boon and Doc
Christmas trees in September
Christmas trees in September
Yana ascends gully
Yana ascends gully
Into the void
Into the void
Let's go down before going up again spot.
Let's go down before going up again spot.
Slippery stuff
Slippery stuff
September?  Ha!
September?  Ha!
Back down, huh.
Back down, huh.
Can just make out 3 TNAB'ers
Can just make out 3 TNAB'ers
Weather clearing (for 30 seconds)
Weather clearing (for 30 seconds)
Yana and Carla
Yana and Carla
Nikolai went that-a-way
Nikolai went that-a-way
See you next year!
See you next year!
Getting ready for winter
Getting ready for winter
Not much longer
Not much longer
Carpet of red
Carpet of red
Fall colors down lower
Fall colors down lower
Two dog dad and 2 dogs!
Two dog dad and 2 dogs!
Fall colors and TNAB'ers
Fall colors and TNAB'ers
Let's go home
Let's go home
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pimaCanyon
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PostSun Sep 30, 2007 9:31 pm 
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beautiful pix with all the fall color.  But what is that white stuff everywhere in some of the pictures??  It ain't time for that yet!   rant.gif

You guys are nuts to bag this in a day and with a little weather thrown in to make it interesting.  When I did it, we took THREE days, one day to get to Grace Lake and set up camp, the second day for the peak, the third day we hiked out.  Very civilized.  Your way sounds insane ( but I could get into it  embarassedlaugh.gif  )

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It's never too late to have a happy childhood
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GeoTom
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PostMon Oct 01, 2007 9:31 am 
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So if a group goes for a hike, and climbs the wrong peak, does their mileage and elevation gain still count?  clown.gif

I was somewhat tempted to join you guys, but as I can barely maintain the normal TNAB pace hink.gif for more than a couple miles, opted for Mt. David instead.

Nice work though  up.gif

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Mesahchie Mark
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PostMon Oct 01, 2007 9:41 am 
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GeoTom wrote:
So if a group goes for a hike, and climbs the wrong peak, does their mileage and elevation gain still count?  clown.gif

lol.gif  Unfortunately, all that effort for a smaller peak.  Reduce estimated el gain to 6200 ft instead.

-MM
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Malachai Constant
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PostMon Oct 01, 2007 9:51 am 
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Next bring GPS, if it is any consolation Ladies is craggier than Snowgrass I thought the summit did not look familiar Snowgrass is just a grassy lump with a big dropoff to the West.

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"You do not laugh when you look at the mountains, or when you look at the sea." Lafcadio Hearn
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Matt
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PostMon Oct 01, 2007 9:54 am 
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Mesahchie Mark wrote:

It is with a large dose of humility that I was wrong about summiting Snowgrass.  Based on the route we took and the topography etc, we in fact climbed Ladies Peak (Pt 7708).  The ridge run would have been much longer on Snowgrass, for starters.

Okay, that makes more sense.  When I was looking at your TR and pics, I couldn't make the topography line up with my experience on Snowgrass last year.  If you went 1.5 miles beyond Frosty Pass and then went up a south ridge, that would put you on Ladies.  For Snowgrass, you only go about a quarter mile and then go up a side rib to the col between Snowgrass & Ladies, then run the ridge west.

But so what?
It's still a heck of an accomplishment, doing it as a day trip and getting to the summit in those conditions.
Now you can call yourself a real Ladies Man (and Ladies Women?)

--------------
“As beacons mountains burned at evening.” J.R.R. Tolkien
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Matt
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PostMon Oct 01, 2007 9:58 am 
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Malachai Constant wrote:
Next bring GPS, if it is any consolation Ladies is craggier than Snowgrass I thought the summit did not look familiar Snowgrass is just a grassy lump with a big dropoff to the West.

Actually the true summit of Snowgrass is not a grassy lump.  The easy grassy section ends at a short 4th-class drop-off, with some more 3rd class scrambling to get to the summit.  You can also bypass the rocky stuff by dropping down onto the north slope at the Ladies-Snowgrass col, traversing below the crags, then coming up to the summit.  PiB used that route.

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“As beacons mountains burned at evening.” J.R.R. Tolkien
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wildernessed
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PostMon Oct 01, 2007 10:25 am 
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Mark,

With the number and types of trips you've done you probably have in the past and will in the future, have these little deviations, it's just the beginning of "senior moments" embarassedlaugh.gif , but really, though it pisses you off inside (like busting my ass to do Bucks S. summit), but a great trip in the backcountry just the same. Sounds like you all had a blast. The Journey is the destination as they say. horsey.gif
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