When I woke this morning and double checked the weather forecast & road reports, concern crept in whether today could happen. At least try, so we met, hit the road and made our way to the trail head out near Elbow Falls and the closed winter gate. What are the odds of another group of folks arriving at the same place, same time, with the exact same route plan. Secretly I cursed that because you know me, I like to be first and have complete ownership! They took off before us and were never to be seen the balance of the day.
We were early enough though that the route ascending Prairie Mountain was not torn up as I suspected it would become as the morning went on. We got good grip with only small amounts of slippage in spots. There was lots of new snow from yesterday and last night. Visible was nil as we gained the summit, so I aimed for close ups. The whole edge was lined with cornice after cornice but not all had icicles decorating them like this one.
Believe me there is quite the mountain view behind me on a clear day. It didn't matter what direction I faced for my summit shot, all backdrops were identical today. The flag refused to fly for me. We didn't stick around long here having no scenery, so we followed the West Ridge and aimed for the cairn which signals it's time to turn left and descend.
looking back at the summit
We found a dining spot on the slope in the trees but by now the snow was deepening. You know that other group I cursed earlier? Well, now I am gladly thanking them for breaking trail. We patted down a spot and took a short lunch break. At this point we now knew, we would be altering our plan for the day and doing a short loop instead of the long one. It was taking longer than expected to make our way through this section.
The dark clouds lifted as we made our way out to the meadow that intersects Prairie Creek Trail.
I was very happy to finally be here so to express my joy here is my "leap of love!"
The work out was suppose to be ascending Prairie Mountain and then it was suppose to be time to enjoy a quick, gentle descent. Thinking back, the ascent was the easy part today. Even though we had a broken trail to follow descending through the forest off the West Ridge, we still sank deep in the snow. The copious amounts made for a tough slog while maximizing muscle use to the fullest capacity.
But, I will admit, this winter wonderland on a spring day sure was pretty!
The shorter loop took us along Prairie Creek Trail instead of Prairie Link & Powderface Creek. The time I allotted for the long loop was how long it took us to complete the short loop. There was less snow on this short loop, but still that did not allow us to move quickly. My legs were beat and screaming. I did learn to lift from the butt and when I did that, it offered relief to my legs.
very happy to be heading home
I was glad my friends were like me and game to at least try.
It was trying at times, but we just toughed it out.
It was challenging at times, but a few of us just said sh**!
It was fun the whole day & way, so we smiled and laughed lots!