Thursday, February 18, 2010

Mount Jumbo to Mount Troy

Date: Feb. 18
Mileage: ~12
Total climbing: 6,284 feet
Time: 7 hours, 13 minutes
Weather: Sunny and hot! 34 degrees at sea level, hotter higher; Light winds
Details: Ridge trek, 40-90 percent

Today I did something that I have always wanted to do, which is connect two prominent peaks on Douglas Island via the mountain ridge. In doing so, I walked from downtown Douglas to Eaglecrest Ski Area, the hard way. I will eventually talk more about observations regarding yesterday's post, but for today I am just doing a quick photo blog.

An inversion coated Juneau with thick fog during the morning and part of the early afternoon. This airplane was flying in circles, waiting for the fog to clear so it could land at the airport. You have to think those passengers are grumbling about the unfairness of a weather delay as they coast through clear blue sky.

And it was hot! So, so hot. I don't know how hot it was. 80 degrees? Maybe 90? It was actually 34 degrees at my house before I left for the morning. Probably mid-40s above the inversion. My shirt became drenched with sweat on the way up Jumbo so I took it off for a while, until my pasty white belly started to burn. This is the obligatory self portrait on top of Mount Jumbo, elevation 3,337. I've hiked this peak many times during the summer, and it felt every bit as warm today. You'd never know it wasn't July. Seriously. Except for all the snow and rime ice.

After that, it was time to set out toward unknown territory. This is an overlook of Stephens Passage and Eagle Peak on Admiralty Island.

Douglas Island Ridge is fairly broad, which allows non-technical passage but can make route finding more difficult.

And there was lots of route finding to do beyond Mount Jumbo. I was hoping I would see old ski tracks I could follow, but no dice. They probably melted.

Looking back on Mount Jumbo after looping around a small secondary peak, elevation 2,800.

Self portrait on top of an unnamed prominent peak, elevation 2,900, above the Dan Moller bowl.

Ah, look, it's downtown Juneau. Above town you can see how high snowline is on Mount Juneau. All joy about July-in-February weather aside, it's sad to see our snowpack this dessicated.

Yeah! Made it to Mount Troy, elevation 2,950. Lots of climbing to reach these high points - the ridge dipped as low as 1,800 feet at times. I had originally thought Ben Stuart might be an good, ambitious goal if the trek went really well, but it took too much time and energy to reach Troy. I'm not sure how I feel about trekking through the ski area anyway. But my next goal is to link up Mount Meek and Ben Stuart.

Lots of good thinking today, as well. I am very pleased with how the day went ... good goals, good introspection, good weather, good scenery, good workout. Good day.