Sunday, March 1, 2009

Timber Mtn via Icehouse Canyon

Saturday Cary and I climbed Timber Peak from Icehouse Canyon Trail head.  We didn't set out to climb Timber peak, really we just wanted to climb peaks with lots of snow and elevation gain.  We started around 7:30 from the trail head and grudgingly hiked up the canyon.  The trail had a light layer of frozen snow/ice.  It was slippery and hard to hike on considering we didn't have crampons.  Our snowshoes would have done us no good on the narrow trail either.  After about 1.5 miles of hiking up we decided to veer off the trail and start our climb.  The great thing about climbing in the snow is that you don't have to follow trails and you can climb more direct routes.  Due to the frozen layer of snow that made the slopes slippery we put on our snowshoes and started climbing.  Crampons would have come in handy here but neither Cary or myself have purchased them yet(we're still waiting for our REI dividend).   With snowshoes on we had a tough time traversing so we basically climbed straight up.  This was one of the steepest climbs I have done.  At points I was on all fours climbing up.  It was really nice to effectively use my ice axe as well. The bottom picture show me climbing up the slope where we deviated from the trail.  After about 5 hours of climbing we reached the summit.  Unfortunately, I ran out of batteries in my GPS unit so I did not track our hike.  It would have been interesting to see our route up.

On the way back down we took the traditional trail down to the Icehouse saddle and then back to the Icehouse Canyon trail.  During that time we took the liberty to take a few short cuts by glissading down the mountain.   Cary and I put on our rain/snow pants and had a blast glissading down while also practicing our self-arrest techniques.   The video below shows one of my glissading runs.  

Along our trek, Cary and I took interest in Ontario Peak which is along a beautiful ridge off the Icehouse Saddle.  The peak is now on our to do list.  We are climbing San Jacinto next weekend so maybe the weekend after that.  Good times!

Start Time: 7:30 Icehouse Canyon
Summit: 12:15
End: 3:30
Elevation start: 4,990 ft
Summit: 8,303 ft


Holly said...

That's one tough climb! I love the glissade - perfect form (ha ha) Amazing there's so much snow when it was 80 degrees down below.

Melissa said...

I too love the glissade video. Glad you got some crampons for the next journey...