Sunday, January 4, 2009

Wait....that peak looks higher (Mt. Waterman)

Yesterday Cary and I went climbing in the far reaches of the San Gabriel Range.  We set off to climb Mt. Waterman which is about 8000 feet and around 28 miles from La Canada (hwy 2).  It was interesting driving to the parking area to see the north facing slopes covered in snow starting around 5k feet and the south facing slopes completely snow free.  About 2 miles past the first ski lift (Mt. Waterman Ski Area)  we parked on the left side of the road, buried 2 Monster drinks in the snow (for our return) and headed up the trail.  We were on snowshoes the entire time, and yes MSR Denali Evo snowshoes are awesome!  We started up a fire road for about 50 feet and then left the road for the snowy/icy slopes.  I love climbing in the snow because you can go straight up, no need to stick with the trail.  The snow concealed the thin sheets of ice below it.  The sun melts the snow in the daytime and then at night it freezes and creates thin icy layers.  One of the photos in this entry shows the icy layers.  After only a few hours of skirting around the ski runs we reached the summit.  As we sat down for lunch we looked across the way to see a higher summit right next to us.  Mt. Waterman is suppose to be the highest peak around that area, and damn it it is!  We were on the wrong summit!  Our summit was about 50 feet shorter than Mt. Waterman at 8077ft.  Coming off the mountain we saw the trail marker 30 feet from the start of the hike that we passed for some reason.  The climb was fun but a little short.  It only took about 1 hr to get back down.  Next time we will return for Mt. Waterman.  

PS. Today I bought a Black Diamond Ice Axe.  My REI dividend has crampons written all over it!

Elevation Start: 6786 ft
Summit: 8022 ft
Start: 9:30
Summit: 12:15
End: 130
Total Mileage: 2.83 miles