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View Full Version : Pierce for Sunset...



JimS
03-28-2010, 11:07 AM
With the weather looking next to perfect yesterday, a buddy and I decided to head up to Pierce to take in a sunset. An alpenglow shot of the classic view has been in my mind for a while, and I was hoping that with a touch of fresh snow, clear skies and a well coated Washington, this would be the night. We left at about 3PM...

I was torn in the parking lot about bringing snowshoes. Temperatures were cold and the snow was firm, but reports were of lots of recent post holing. Ultimately, with the warmest of the day behind us...the snowshoes stayed behind. Which turned out to be fine.

Premonorail snow met us for the first 200yards or so...then we got into the deep, dense snow from the recent dump, which has clearly become more dense and more frozen since. We could walk just about anywhere and barely sink in until the cutoff.

That's when things got interesting. We talked to a lot of people about 'The Trail' on the way up, and the stories were wierd. 'Mispah cutoff was closed' we heard again and again. Well, when we got there, there was a hand written sign on the sign explaining that it wasn't broken out, and dead ended a little ways down. Then it was all spruce traps due to poor recent route finding.

The other way wasn't much different. Blowdowns were common. One you had to crawl under. THEN...The 'trail' left the actual trail! about 2/3 of the way over, and started a bushwhack straight to the summit. With the DEEP snow, it was a face rake for the final half mile. Wretched!

Then the summit. This has to be one of the top five views in the Whites. BUT...there were dense high clouds on the western horizon. Foiled for my dream shot again. But it didn't matter...it was calm, clear, and with a fantastic mid winter snowpack with late winter temperatures. We hung out on the summit for about two hours, snapping away.

The trip down was quick, with moonlight dappling the dense snow in the woods. Oh...and there's a heck of a widow-maker treetop vertically over the trail about 3/4 of the way down to the Hi-C. Watch out for that one.

A few shots...
http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4058/4469416825_4eff0924dc.jpg
View of the northern mountains...no light...

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4035/4470180618_653d3293d7.jpg
Intersting perspective...and drifts...

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4039/4470140514_600337b2b3.jpg
Only light on the mountain during our trip...lasted only a brief moment

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4059/4468986641_d4c0d3c870.jpg
Sunset was good though!!!

mtruman
03-28-2010, 12:51 PM
OK, that answers the question I asked on Facebook - you took the bushwhack. Twas a fun bit of meandering, yes? :rolleyes: It sounds like the route up Pierce has seen many creative paths in the last few weeks. It really wasn't all that bad last weekend and we didn't find as many "face slappers" as it sounds like you did. Did you get the Gray Jay welcoming committee when you hit treeline on the south ridge?