When the shout went out, I was happy to hear two friends echo back! Within a matter of no time at all our plan to hike Junction Hill Loop was in place. The conditions at the trail head looked inviting & enticing. It was windy but the lack of snow + the blue sky = happy. We geared up, locked up, crossed the road, then immediately began our ascent.
This is the one and only crocus we saw all day!
I was happy to see it, it surely means spring!
The springy conditions made for easy movement, yet not speedy by any means. It's hard to tell here, but we are ascending steeply plus we have so much of life's happenings to catch up on. Stop, talk, walk, stop, talk, walk!
Do you see a happy face in the cloud?
We made it to the ridge to where there was 360 degree scenery. The new spring snow in the far off big mountains was pretty. I was happy all that snow was over there though. But..... as we carried on......
.....all that snow was appearing here too! We stayed well back of the ridge edge. We could see cornice after cornice after cornice. The snow we encountered was supportive. I was happy about that. We paid attention to where the possible rock slabs were and did our best to circumnavigate them. All the while, the scenery was spectacular!
Finally, we eyed the summits, the false and the true!
We assesed conditions as we went!
We encountered deep snow!
The snow was deep, the wind was fierce, a safe route was not obvious, we assessed then reassessed. Our experience led us to make the wise decision that today's high point would be at the false summit. You can see the true summit just to the right. It was so close, but yet so far! I was very happy to have made it this far today. For my summit shot, I planted my feet, braced myself at an angle for support in the wicked wind yet I still raised my arms in victory with a smile on my face because even though the true summit was not attained, I still felt like I conquered!
Our visit at the top was short lived. We slowly descended the rock slab section to find a very late sheltered lunch spot before caring on with making a loop. The lower we got, the deeper the snow became. The drifts were as tall as we were, the snow was not as supportive as earlier in the day, cornices appeared, we were not able to safely find ways to get around trees or through deep snow. Then, at the very same second in time, the three of us announced we wanted to turn back. I was happy my friends shared my concern. This was as far as we made it down the slope. We found a safe sheltered spot to refuel then retraced our track back to the top to do an out and back instead of the planned loop.
last photo taken from the top of a wide open space from a wide open space
We gingerly made our way back down over the scrambly sections which were now slippery. I was happy to get all that behind us and arrive at the grassy slopes where it was obvious what was beneath our feet and the footing was sure. We found a perfect tree for our Easter celebration! The Easter Eggs are courtesy of Agent-X.
Today's objective turned out to be too big! What we did accomplish turned out being larger than big! We had a wonderful day filled with happy times everywhere, scenery was gorgeous, we listened, we shared, we embraced! It was tough at times, we encouraged, we supported, we did all the things good friends do! We know how to find all the bright spots on any given day playing in our sanctuary!
Happy Happy Everything!