I thought this would take about 9 hours roundtrip.
It took me 14.5 hours round trip.
Weather forecast: bad
Distance on road: Long (at least 6 miles one way)
Appealing to others: none
So I had dreams of being a Fay Pullen or an Eric Gilbertson--basically they do long slogs on their skis. I can do this I said to myself….well, in reality it looks good on the screen.
So I started at 8:00am from the gate near Grandy Lake and took the east side roads of Grandy Creek up on my electric mountain bike. I thought I could make it to 2800-3000 feet. I hit snow at 2100 feet—that was about 30 minutes on the bike with 1200 feet of gain. Here is where I switched to skis and went skinning on the roads. I am not used to this distance and I kept reminding myself…if Fay can do this….I can do this. It was snowing and about 6 inches of snow had accumulated from the night before. Go. Go. Go. The roads are covered in snow and it took me another 5 hours to reach the base of Washington Monument at the 3919T marker on the USGS topo. I had a blister on my bottom foot starting at 1 hour—I caressed that blister and grew it from a wee little one to large one like a proud parent over the next 4 hours.
At the 3919T, I then switched to snowshoes and then went down the rest of the road and through trees over to the saddle between Wanlick and Washington Monument. From here I went up Wanlick which is peak 4708. I tried to stay mostly under the trees because the snow was not as deep due to melting the previous days. Easy snowshoe to the top. Then back down to the saddle and up the north ridge of Washington Monument. It got a little steep for snowshoeing, and staying in the trees and the ridgeline I felt totally safe. Wind was blowing, and I was sweating in the goretex while the face was cold. Nothing complicated along the north ridge and finally came to the final section of Washington Monument where I got out the ice axe and did the last 50-70 feet up to the final section just before the summit. Views? Never had ONE the entire day. There were many shades of gray that day. Lots of blowing snow too in the 15mph range. So. NO PICTURES.
I then back downclimbed the 50-70 foot section and then walked next to trees down to the road that is just south of Washington Monument. Then taking the road back to where I had my skis at 3919T. I was tired. This had taken me 4.5 hours from when I last left the skis--a mere 3 miles one way with about 1800 feet of gain.
I then donned the skis again to bloom my blister into a beautiful small sized pizza on the bottom of my foot. 3.5 more hours of road skinning to hit the bike while skiing down the road by headlamp. Switched to the bike and road the bike back to the car. 10:30pm. I had a goal to do another peak on Sunday. No way. I fatigued my muscles.
I have been more tired than this day. I know. Still, it looked easy on paper with such a distance!
Multi method....car, bike, ski, snowshoe. But no pictures to prove it.
I'm joshing about that last! I'm not one of those who write "No pictures,* didn't happen." Why take a picture of fog in blowing snow? That's a good way to freeze the fingers.
( however, a pic of your 'pizza' on your sole would be 'interesting' if not necessarily appetizing)
* these days, some claim " No Strava [or GPS log] , didn't happen" Still nonsense, unless one is trying for a FKT.
-------------- Passing rocks and trees like they were standing still
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