Monday, October 29, 2007

Trip Report: Mini-Mummy Loop d’ doo

October 28, 2007
Hagues Peak 13, 560 ft
Rowe Mountain 13,185 ft
Mummy Mountain 13,425 ft
~20.5 miles roundtrip from Lawn Lake Trailhead
~6,100 cumulative elevation gain

Brazilian free runners inspired this outing. In the summertime this route would be an awesome “free run”. Not that I currently have the thunder thighs or lungs to run up these peaks…’s always great to have a big ridiculous goal.

With that as my theme (free running), and a fully charged iPod, I left the Lawn Lake trailhead at 6:35 am. Unsure of the conditions up high, I carried a heavy pack, which included crampons, ice axe, a puffy, and warm expedition mittens.

Darkness quickly morphed into a bluebird day. The winds were mild with gusts up to 20 mph and the temperature hovered near 40 F. Snowdrifts dominated the landscape above Lawn Lake, varying in depth from 4 inches to 2 feet. Postholing, while not one of my favorite activities, was something I did a lot of today.

On the way up toward The Saddle 12,398 ft, a playful Coyote zoomed around me for about 30 minutes. Once up near the Hagues summit, I turned and took a long time to study Fairchild’s’ features. There’s some awesome potential for ice climbs as well as skiing down this peak’s big sloping shoulder….if the spring conditions are right.

Hagues summit was windy, so after recording some observations in my field notebook, I headed over to Rowe Mountain. My original plan was to bag both Rowe Peak and Rowe Mountain; however, the postholing enroute to the Rowe Ridge filled me with discouragement. I decided to just tag Rowe Mountain on this outing. Instead taking the time I would have used to get Rowe peak and record more field observations in my notebook. The Rowe Glacier was active as the afternoon sun heated up the snowpack, causing some minor avalanche activity.

Back up over the Hagues ridge, I traversed to Mummy. With my iPod blaring, I picked my way over to Mummy’s Summit. The winds had accelerated to ~30 mph. For the descent, I chose to explore Mummy’s Southeast Slopes. There, I was greeted by a small family of Bighorn Sheep. All in all another fantastic day in the park!

Click here for pics.