Sunday, February 10, 2008

Kineo with Snow

10 February, 2008: After the previous weenend's road fiasco, I didn't feel like taking many chances, but I still wanted to get in a peak somewhere (especially after discovering that Lists of John has a category for calendar winter ascents!). So I repeated the Kineo Mtn. loop from the Gold Camp Road parking lot trailhead.
I wore gaiters, figuring that I would have to plow through at least a little snow near the top. I did, but it wasn't really bad and only slowed me down a little. I made it up the Seven Bridges Trail and back along the west ridge to the summit in an hour and 21 minutes. The sun was still trying to break out of thin clouds, but there was no significant wind, so conditions were quite mild. Light winter clothing was just fine; I only had one layer on my legs and the wool/thinsulate mittens were all I needed for my hands the whole trip.
At the first saddle on the way up, I had encountered snowshoe tracks heading up. Great! This reduced my sinking in, and since I saw no similar prints heading down, I was hoping that whoever made them had continued on east for his or her descent. After a few minutes for pictures on the summit, I took a look to the east and found that, indeed, the snowshoe prints led off and down in that direction, so I happily followed them.
The sun finally broke out just about then, and I was able to make almost as good time down the ridge as I would have done in summer, thanks to the broken trail of the tracks, plus the cushioning of the snow. I took huge plunge steps with no worry about twisting my ankles most of the way down. I made the descent in one hour and one minute.
I've lost count. This has to be my 8th or 9th climb of this mountain, and not the first in winter. But I'll definitely log this one, and all future ones, on all the mountaineering sites! Pictures are at:

Long life and many peaks!


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