Garfield2010Apr

I made a final overnight when April stayed cold, hiking up the Garfield Trail. It took almost 6 hours up, starting with a light dusting of snow on the trail and gradually getting snowier until at 3600' I switched to snowshoes. I came well prepared, and thus heavily laden. Nobody else on the trail, as the weekend was predicted to be rainy at lower elevations. Only snow at the higher elevations, starting above 2000'. As this was the final weekend of getfit@mit, I wanted lots of minutes of exercise. I kept a fairly steady, measured pace, but I got winded near the top. Reaching the trail junction just below the Mt. Garfield summit, I turned down the steep 300' descent toward the Garfield Ridge shelter. However, the trail disappeared. I tried 3 or 4 spurs, but each ended in nothing that looked like a trail. As it was getting late, I decided to retrace my steps to the junction and set up a camp there. I had my rainfly and all the gear I needed to stay warm. The snow was coming down gently. I tried a couple of places, finally opting for a dugout area in a group of fir trees, which provided a good canopy. I had my warm pea soup from my thermos for dinner. My cozy bivy worked fine; I tied my rainfly to trees on both sides to keep my sleeping bags confined. During the night, I got snow on my bags with some wetness, but I stayed warm---a thoroughly enjoyable sleep as I had had a tough week. The hike out in the morning took 5 hours. The final mile was on the approach road that had been washed out at two bridge crossings due to the March rainstorms. As I had on the ascent, I had to bushwhack between the two bridges---a tough ending as I was tired. The weekend gave me 845 minutes.
Morning at Mt Garfield
Morning at Mt Garfield
Couldn't find Garfield Ridge shelter, so I used my rain fly as a shelter
Canopy above; snow below
Canopy above; snow below
Looking out the rear of my cozy bed; ~1" of snow overnight
The Garfield camp
The Garfield camp
Surrounded by trees, covered by the rainfly, warm in my double sleeping bag, slightly sore from 9 hours of hiking, rested from 12 hours in the sack, up for a hike home, I had a good overnight.
The night's snow covering
The night's snow covering
My items left out overnight were partially hidden in the new snow
Trusty pad
Trusty pad
Stepping out of my cocoon onto my pad worked well
MEMO0017
MEMO0017
MEMO0018
MEMO0018
Gear close-up
Gear close-up
Snowshoes and gaiters
Snowshoes and gaiters
Frozen wool mittens
Frozen wool mittens
Wool keeps its warmth even when wet, but thawing mittens after freezing would require too much heat. Better to use a dry pair.
Where is the shelter?
Where is the shelter?
Before I went the 0.2 miles, the trail disappeared; I couldn't see where to go. THis is one time when a GPS would help.
Snowy trail at 4100'
Snowy trail at 4100'
With 4" of new snow over the past couple days the frozen wonderland was gorgeous.
2010Apr18GarfieldEnd40pc
2010Apr18GarfieldEnd40pc
Near the bottom of the Garfield Trail, with little snow.