Sunday, March 4, 2012

#8 Jackson March 4, 2012

#8 Jackson March  4, 2012:

 03/04/2012 (Sunday)  Jackson (4052 # 39) 5.2 miles,  2547 ft elevation gain,  2150 el change. 4:56 Book time.    My time 6:00 hrs;  (07:30 to 14:00 – 0.5 on top),  4 hours up, 2 hours down.  ratio to book = 1.2.   Easiest, shortest, and quickest mountain yet.   I picked it so I could try my snow shoes and I may have the option of going to Mt Pierce.  I told myself if I got to Jackson by 11:00, I would shoot for Pierce and still had a bale out rout form Mitzpah hut down.  Turns out I made it by 11 but could not find the Webster cliff trail over to Pierce.  The trail up was well broken out and I used hillsound crampons all the way up. Only 1 or 2 postholing when I stepped off the trail.  Off the trail the snow was light with a thin crust and 3-4 ft deep. No real steep sections.  Quite most of the way up.  Almost no wind all the way up.   Temps comfortable around 20. I was slightly overdressed with two layers of teckwick (#2 & # 3) and upper and lower shells.  Carried heavy parker in pack but it never came out.  I needed a lighter pair of gloves. Started sweating in the ones I had (not my heaviest mitts) and went bare hands most of way.   I did have to stop and catch my breath leaning on my poles quite a bit, but that was mostly because I was out of shape, not because of the difficulty. Views at top were breathtaking. Top of Washington was in the clouds but I could see the rest of the southern snow capped peaks. Group of 3 hikers with 2 dogs came to summit after I had been there 15 minutes.  They also wanted to go over to Ike but couldn’t find the trail either (evidently it hadn’t been broken out recently).  One in the group had done the 48, the girl in the group was at ~24/48.  They all passed me on the way down. Finally got to feed a Grey Jay at the top, (right out of my hand). There were 2 flying around, fairly plump too. They must hang at the peaks and wait for hikers and get fed all the time.  The dogs spooked them off before I could feed the second one.  One of the dogs was a bad barker and made a racket.  Decided to try the Snowshoes on the way down and help pack the trail more. MS lightening 25s.  They worked pretty good once I got the hang of them and stopped stepping on my own tails. I tripped pretty bad once. Also found that you can’t butt slide with them. Tried and got all tangled up and hurt my knee some.  Also they seemed real good going up on the uphill sections going down but are not very good and difficult on the steeper sections.  A better plan would have been to wear them up (I think they would have been as good as the crampons) and use crampons or spikes down so I could butt slide the few steep sections. But, I was afraid I’d get too tired to summit if I used the shoes when I really didn’t need them on the way up.  Passed 2 groups of 2 & 3  hikers going up while I was going down.  Also, just as 1 was going down one lone girl summitted and she also passed me on the way down.   My left knee went out on me again on the way down (3/4 of way down).  I think if I hadn’t  got tangled up trying to butt slide , and didn’t wear the snowshoes down it would have been okay.  I had worn an elastic brace (dollar store) on that knee , and think it did help some.  I was carrying a better brace in my pack but I was close enough to the bottom and the pain was bearable so I didn’t stop to take it out.  This was my first presidential (though Jackson is actually named after a NH geologist not a president).  Over all, a good uneventful hike but does add one more to my short winter list (3/48) . I still have been able to avoid any really cold or windy conditions.







#8 Jackson






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