Check out the date! This is three weeks ago. Sorry to take so long to post these.
53° Jul 12, 2010…Round Top Mtn …tr#120
hike # 361
Choosing which hike to do gets harder…we have done so many and numerous times that we kind of let the weather be our guide. And summer is so short that we like to do some of our favorites. With extremely strong wind and cooler temps predicted for this day, we chose a ridge hike, Schafer peak on the Monarch Ridge trail, and along ride to the trailhead. The cooler temps today were quite a contrast to our recent 93° weather.
Back to today, I had only minutes to decide before the turnoff on Trestle Creek Rd. The heavy trucks were still working on the road, and we saw a mama moose with a young ‘mooselet’ crossing the road on the way up.
It was warm at home and we dressed accordingly…shorts, of course and I had no qualms about leaving my sweatshirt jacket on the shelf. The A/C was on in the truck full blast. What a shock when we got to the trailhead and opened the truck doors…it was cold and the wind was wild…I was freezing and thought I would be in big trouble. I immediately got out the windbreaker and my wool hat which I wore for most of the day…I can say that we never got hot and nor even warm! Several times I even wanted to dig out my wool gloves for my cold hands.
Right at the start of the trail, we saw a huge pile of bear scat…hmmm. The trail is very rough and rugged, with rocks of all sizes, both loose and imbedded, tree roots, about 12 downed trees of all sizes to either climb over or walk around thru the brush and scree fields to cross. The wind began to pick up and visibility got progressively worse.
There is a short but steep climb to the top of the ridge on Trestle Peak at 6320’ and normally the views would be outstanding. By now the loud howling wind was very strong and since it was about laying me down to the ground, I wouldn’t even go up to the top. That short side trip cost us 30 minutes and once back down on the trail we had some snacks.
It seemed like we should be at least seeing the mountain by now but nothing…a peak off in the distance which we thought was the one, proved not to be. We decided that if we weren’t getting anywhere at the four hour point, we would turn around. The strong winds and black sky were also discouraging us. Finally spotting the right peak, but thinking it would be at least another 30-45 minutes to get to the top, we found an offshoot trail which took us to a rocky precipice just below the real top at 6153. Views were all but obliterated by now and this was top enough for me. So many Sego Lilies, pestamon and bear grass. We lingered only long enough for a few pics, and then headed down. The gusts were unbelievable…except for winter blizzards, this may be the worse wind conditions we have been in. My prayer was…Lord, please keep all these trees standing and upright! We found out later that wind speed at the lake was as high as 48mph and Spokane recorded 75mph gusts.
Left home 8:20Started up 9:30Got to top 1:40 (4 hours, 10 minutes)
Started down 1:45
Got to truck 4:55 (3 hours, 10 minutes)
Total miles hiked 16 miles
Total hiking time 7 hours, 20 minutes