December 20, 2010
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It’s been quite a while since I’ve hiked into the Ausable Club area. The weather was a bit overcast, but there were a few breaks in the clouds. Passing the golf course, off to my right, Giant looked ominous and snowy, with its peak in the clouds. As I stopped to sign in, I expected one of the rangers to come out, as they usually do. This morning, though, they let me pass without the usual interrogation. The trip up the road passed quickly, and I stopped almost at the end of the road to prepare for the trail. By this time, there was around a foot of fresh snow. I also noticed that no one had gone this way, at least since the last snowfall. It looks like I’d be doing a little trail breaking. By the time I neared the junction, between Sawtooth, and Gothics, the snow was around 1.5 to 2 feet deep. I stopped at the junction for a breather, and some food. I was originally going to grab both Sawtooth, and Pyramid, but the combination of time, and trail breaking, I decided to skip Pyramid. Pyramid is a beautiful spot for pictures, so with the weather now mostly overcast, I wouldn’t be missing a great photo session.
The last 1/2 mile of trail, up Sawtooth, is tough going. The snow was really deep, unpacked powder. There was very little base for me to get a bite with my ice axe. And most of all, it gets pretty steep in spots. It took a while for me to scramble my way up to the top. As soon as I reached the summit, the sun broke through just enough for me to get a few pictures of the south side of Gothics.
Going back down, I ended up doing a little sliding on my rear! Grabbing the trees on the side of the trail, and with some help from my axe, the rest of steep stuff was pretty easy. By the time I neared the lake, I had to use my headlamp. That last 3+ miles always seems to take forever, after a day of climbing.
Catch Ya Later!