View Full Version : Mt Jackson- so it begins!

03-15-2010, 01:06 PM
I couldn't get beyond the fact that I didn't hike a presi on the most beautiful day we've had this winter last weekend (3/6) so I watched the weather all week to see if we could sneak it in this past weekend. It looked like we would get just enough of a break in the weather before the rain rolled in on Saturday, so we decided to plan for an early start and hope for the best.

We started out from the trailhead at 9am. It was really windy in the parking lot as we bundled up, so I knew we were in for a wild ride on the summit. But the sun was shining and we were prepared, so off we went.

We wore the snowshoes up, since I HATE to carry them and decided that if I might need them, I might as well just wear them the whole way. Turns out they weren't really needed, as most of the trail was packed down nicely and it was still early so it hadn't turned to wet sugar (mashed potatoes, etc). I was getting irritated with the massive amount of post holes I saw- deep ones at that! I would give up and turn back if I kept falling through up to my knees (this did happen once on the way down when I lost track for one second and stepped off trail).

Once we closed in on the summit cone, there were trails going everywhere in the snow! Having never been on Jackson, I didn't know which way we were supposed to go, so I followed the trail that looked well beaten. I had heard that it got a little sketchy at this point so I wasn't too surprised. It took the long way 'round, but still got up to the top safely.

As we came out of the 'trees' and tackled the summit cone, the winds hit us hard! There were times when I learned forward as much as I could and planted my poles in the snow. My friend crawled, as she was much more afraid (and lighter) than I was! We could have easily gotten blown over, but it wasn't a long stretch, so we made it to the summit quickly (made it off the summit even quicker!). I hooted and woo hooed at the top, challanging the wind and super excited about the view that I had been waiting for for a long time now. There in front of me was the whole (with the exception of Adams and Madison) Presi range, covered in snow, with a clear sky. Amazing! We didn't have that perfect blue sky as a backdrop, but it wasn't really overcast either, just a little muted. Still amazing and well worth the torture from the wind while I tried to take photos!

We didn't stay long on the summit, which is too bad. We did get to see a gray jay, although I don't know how he was flying in that wind. We swapped out the snowshoes for microspikes for the way down, since we could put all our layers back on and have room for them in the pack. We made good time coming off the mountain, and our feet took a pounding that's much different than summer hiking. We had a couple of pitches on the way down where we could (had to) slide on our butts, but over all it was a great day and a good start to the quest this year!

I'd attach pics, but it's so much work on my end. Trust me, they were one of a kind for me! I though the view would be blocked more by pierce, but definately not!

Jimmy Legs and Little d
03-15-2010, 01:40 PM
Very nice trip report. It was good that you persevered and made it to the top despite the condition of the trail and wind. Next time, maybe you can post a few pictures?


03-15-2010, 04:25 PM

Very funny that you saw a gray jay. Even in very high winds, they persevere, following hikers up the trail... :D

Snow Miser
03-15-2010, 07:46 PM
Very nice TR. It sounds like you had a good time. Some photos next time would be nice, even if only one or two. Thanks for taking us along.:)

03-16-2010, 12:43 PM
I'll see if I can post some photos, if I can remember how. I think we are doing Pierce on Friday, so there will be even more to come. I love taking pics and sharing them, I just wish I could do it quicker!