Sat, Oct 6 2018 - Mist Mountain, Scramble (View Original Event Details)

Event Coordinator(s): Gil
Participants:Gil, Gail, chris w, Allen, Marina S, Trina

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Write Up:
THE AXE. NO FROWNS TODAY. THANKSGIVING! Trina, Marina, Chris, Allen, Gail and Gil

We couldn't have asked the Good Lord for a better day! The blistering rays of a warm sunny day and no wind. That's right no wind!

We did a quick overview of Self-Arrest with an Ice Axe and we were on our way (video in car :) ). We parked at an obvious dirt parking lot N50° 31.339' W114° 53.505' and made our way up the trail but quickly found ourselves bushwacking and climbing a steep slippery snow embankment where Chris had to use "THE AXE" to get up it. Eventually we regained the true track trail. Note below this trail that is direct and better parking area (paved) at N50° 31.382' W114° 52.988'.

We meandered through the tree line for sometime until the approach to the col opened up for us. Closing in on the col, we "snowshoed up" as the snow was about knee deep and heavy and wet because of the sun. At the col, you can see our second objective through the cirque about 800 m ahead with a 200 m gain. We knew the trail was much lower at the bottom of the head wall, but the snow was extremely steep, crusty, with icy rocks beneath; there was a sense of avalanche possibilities. Even if we dropped in from a more gradual slope in, not only would we lose a lot of elevation, it would have been a slog to get up to the cirque in the shade with a strong likelihood of having to turn back in the shade, as we were already late in the day. Who would want to give up the 'Sun' :).

We decided to make a new objective going back to the col and looking in the direction of the cirque to do the left ridge crest and see how far we could go. It looked doable from the col so we ventured forward route searching for the safest way up. The snow was thigh deep and steeper than we thought, but that didn't deter us as we wanted to make the most of our day. We geared up and pulled out "THE AXE" and was it ever a confidant booster as we drove each step up, down, and across the mountain. As we continued to AXE upwards, pushing through ... that sense of mystery, unknown, and even our own comfortable limits... kept just... afoot ahead of us. Like life, you don't really know what's around the bend and being in the 'angst' (that uncomfortable middle) where we should we go or not go, it became the new normal as we proceeded to simply, see how far we could go together. Judging from the exhilaration on friends faces, this all was good as we methodically looked for 'best lines' to stave danger. The snow always makes things look more epic, especially if you have, "THE AXE"!

We continued to weave up and around rock bands until we could go no more and found ourselves tucked and wedged in a corridor where we could enjoy our own 'summit' for the day, enjoy lunch, and take a peak at the vistas below. What can we say, on this "Thanksgiving Weekend": A blessed day it was! It couldn't have been any better - The Good Lord watching over us, Cheerful friends, Sunny windless weather, challenged our comfort boundaries, safe, and of course, "THE AXE". Thanks again for another great outing. Will have to come back to complete Mist scramble in the Summer. Until then, be blessed and see you on the next outing.