Saturday, May 2, 2015

Cox Hill wonderfully wintery

Hey!  It's May!  Hiking Cox Hill today, we got exactly what one should expect and plan for when hitting those hills in our mountain playground west of the City.  I never know what location to plug into the search for a weather forecast when I'm looking for a report on this area.  After checking out all surrounding areas, I came away with a forecast that said snow, rain, sun, cloud, cold, warm.  Hey! It's May!  Come prepared for it all!  We got it all too!

It was cold gearing up mid morning in the Dawson Equestrian Parking Lot and it took longer than usual to warm up as we went up.  Eventually I did shed a layer. Views for the first few kilometers are of a tree-lined trail so we are able to make headway on that as there is no reason for photo stops. Then the first meadow offered up a display of ice crystal covered crocuses and we had to admire them.  It amazes me how these delicate looking wild flowers survive under conditions like this.
The higher up, the slipperier the trail became and our micro-spikes were put to the test.  We made it out of the forest, up along the switchbacks which traverse that steep slope then out into the wide open.  The snow was falling, it was accumulating and sticking on the ground and on the trees.  It did look pretty I must admit, even if it's May.  
yes the snow was sticky as my friend could attest to
this is the most build up I've ever seen on the bottom of a micro-spike
We aimed for the far end of Cox Hill where the rocky outcrop is and where Jumpingpound Ridge begins leading to Jumpingpound Mountain.  Visibility was non-existent for our group summit shot but we did see the sun try to break through.  Yes, there is a sun up there!  I wondered if possibly this is what the conditions were like when that plane crashed here back in 1986.  Cox Hill Plane Crash June 14, 1986  Luckily for us today, it was not windy and it was just chilly not cold.  
Then the clouds opened and I jumped at the opportunity for my summit shot.
Given the decent conditions right now, we opted for this to be our lunch spot.  We enjoyed a lengthy visit with chit-chat that I believe is the result of "feeling high on life and releasing our inhibitions".  Sometimes what is voiced under these situations is best left on the trail!   
We made it all the way up here, so we decided why not hit all the high points.  
On the way down those switchbacks, the snowfall was heavier than it was while ascending.  We got off the top just in time.  Just like that all-inclusive forecast that I found, it was panning out as promised.  Then just like that, it cleared up and warmed up.  We enjoyed blue sky for the balance of our descent.
We visited that crocus filled meadow again and yes, those dainty flowers do survive.  
Even though it was like winter today, it was still wonderful.  Conditions did not impede on our day and we executed our hike as planned.  May can present a taste and tease of a summer hiking season just around the corner and that is exactly what we experienced today on Cox Hill.  


3 comments:

  1. Your group is growing. I love the crocus shots. Nature is incredible.
    My group can totally relate to "Sometimes what is voiced under these situations is best left on the trail!"
    Laughter and nature. Life is good.

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  3. Beautiful pictures, Andra! Thank you for making me laugh so much. I needed that. I need it a lot more this weekend, so we'll see how I fare. Enjoy your hike on Saturday!

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