Hamilton Mt., Monday, Feb. 25th

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Don Nelsen
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Hamilton Mt., Monday, Feb. 25th

Post by Don Nelsen » February 26th, 2019, 12:25 pm

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This hike was planned as more-or-less an easy one but ended up being way more fun. No one had ventured past the saddle at the cliffs at 1,700' elevation and above that, most of the tracks from the previous weekend had filled in with falling and blowing snow.

We took our spikes but left the snowshoes and for the most part it worked out ok. We did a lot of postholing but snowshoes would have sunk in too, and almost eight miles on them would have been perhaps an even tougher workout.

We passed a lone hiker coming out as we went in who said he had turned around at the cliff saddle. Soon, a young couple passed us by a short distance up the trail. We met them again as they were returning and they asked us if the trail was the right one to get to the summit. They said they had run into the end of footprints and didn't know how to proceed. I said I knew the way and they could follow us but they decided to head back. Following old folks, ewww!

Here's Kelly at the first saddle:


We soon came to the end of the bootprints and the real fun began:
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The section that was completely drifted over was only about 400 or 500 feet and afterwards, we could see at least some evidence of previous hikers tracks, though usually 90% of the furrow they had made was filled in.
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Every now and then we would sink in to our hips. Here's Kelly doing just that. I had to go back and pull her out of this one!
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There were a few big limbs down but the only real impediments were small trees and brush bent down over the route.
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As we approached the summit, the drifts were daunting.
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Kelly navigating the final drift before the summit:


The summit ridge was really snowy and with wind as well. Lots of brush over the route but Kelly figured it out. Here she is having some fun going under some snow laden brush:


You couldn't ask for a more beautiful snowy wonderland.
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Once down in the forest off the crest of the ridge it was easier going:


The final saddle before the road section was really windy but Kelly totally owned it and never slowed:


All-in-all, a great day in the snowy forest.

Hike # 27 (for 2019)

2,250 EG, 7.6 miles
"Everything works in the planning stage".

pablo
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Re: Hamilton Mt., Monday, Feb. 25th

Post by pablo » February 26th, 2019, 2:23 pm

Hey Don, nice report and I really like that first photo. I'm freezing up just watching those videos. Even the most mundane hike in the Gorge becomes fun given challenging conditions.

--Paul
The future's uncertain and the end is always near.

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Bosterson
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Re: Hamilton Mt., Monday, Feb. 25th

Post by Bosterson » February 26th, 2019, 2:48 pm

Looks like epic conditions out there, DN! That wind cornice on the Hamilton saddle is nuts!! :shock:

What a fantastic winter we're having since February. :D
Will hike off trail for fun.

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retired jerry
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Re: Hamilton Mt., Monday, Feb. 25th

Post by retired jerry » February 26th, 2019, 3:16 pm

Nice pics, maybe the first one best

Did Kelly ask you "what the h*** have you got me into this time?"?

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Don Nelsen
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Re: Hamilton Mt., Monday, Feb. 25th

Post by Don Nelsen » February 26th, 2019, 3:57 pm

retired jerry wrote:
February 26th, 2019, 3:16 pm
Nice pics, maybe the first one best

Did Kelly ask you "what the h*** have you got me into this time?"?
Yep! - and, as she saw me videoing her crawling under those snow-laden bushes in the third video, she said "don't you talk to me". I think that was what she said after she hiked the final pitch to the summit of Mauna Kea in 2016. I don't know what's wrong with her - she keeps coming back for more:


dn
"Everything works in the planning stage".

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bobcat
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Re: Hamilton Mt., Monday, Feb. 25th

Post by bobcat » February 27th, 2019, 2:31 pm

retired jerry wrote:
February 26th, 2019, 3:16 pm
Nice pics, maybe the first one best
I'll second that! If there's a 2020 calendar, that one needs to be entered!

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Chip Down
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Re: Hamilton Mt., Monday, Feb. 25th

Post by Chip Down » February 28th, 2019, 8:08 pm

I too am a fan of the opening pic. Did you make it out to the end? And did you happen to notice if the slot would be climbable?

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Don Nelsen
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Re: Hamilton Mt., Monday, Feb. 25th

Post by Don Nelsen » February 28th, 2019, 8:27 pm

Thank you everyone who's commented and also for liking my opening photo. I'm no photographer but sometimes one gets lucky. I must say, the new phone camera technology is simply wonderful. All the pics I've posted in the past two months have been taken with my I phone Xr. My ancient I Phone 4s finally gave it up so I had to upgrade.

Chip: I made it out to the end and also have looked at that cleft from the bottom. I'm not sure if it could be scaled, but am willing to go check it out again. Maybe that's good opportunity to meet and do a hike?

dn
"Everything works in the planning stage".

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K.Wagner
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Re: Hamilton Mt., Monday, Feb. 25th

Post by K.Wagner » March 1st, 2019, 12:18 pm

And here I thought that Kelly had a knee problem, that limited her to easier routes. Boy, was I wrong, that girl is tough!
Is she talking to yet?
Kelly
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Don Nelsen
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Re: Hamilton Mt., Monday, Feb. 25th

Post by Don Nelsen » March 1st, 2019, 8:46 pm

K.Wagner wrote:
March 1st, 2019, 12:18 pm
And here I thought that Kelly had a knee problem, that limited her to easier routes. Boy, was I wrong, that girl is tough!
Is she talking to yet?
As I headed out for my Wednesday hike, she was still supine in front of the woodstove, blanket over her, coffee to her side. She was talking to me but I think she said something like "Hawaii, - and soon". Well, being a dutiful partner, it is on the schedule.

ps: Yes, she has a serious knee problem but it manifests itself mostly when she tries to go too fast. If she goes slowly, it's not so bad. Hamilton was difficult for her but she made it and said after the fact: "I knew if I stopped I would die so I had to keep going." What a gal! I am so lucky to have found her!!

dn
"Everything works in the planning stage".

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