Early Season Assault on GreybackI couldn't help but catnap on the couch while I waited for Jskills to arrive from San Diego. We had planned this trip for awhile, but couldn't confirm until the day of due to work considerations. Anyhow, we were both excited to get some Mt. time, and I was happy to be able to get to know Jskills a little better, having only spent a limited amount of time on Baldy in Feb., and that not really climbing together.
So when he made it to Beaumont around 11PM, my wife woke me and told me to get the hell out of there (she wasn't happy about the planning). Off we went towards Forest Falls with a mandatory stop for Sparks on the way. This stop ended up being quite fortuitous, as it turned out.
At Big Falls parking lot, we stretched a bit, made last-minute pack adjustments, and finally headed up at just before midnight. It was a beautiful evening, not too cold, with an astounding gaggle of stars under which to hike. The original plan, which was to make High Creek that night, ended up being somewhat slightly too bold.
So at 1:45 or so, we slipped into Vivian Creek camp and decided to call it a day. Jskills supplied the Hardwear Hotel (outstanding accomodations, I can assure you) and we konked out around 2:15AM, with no real set time to wake. Of course, we were wiped out, so when we got up at 6 to pee, neither one of us cared to stay up; as such, we finally woke around 11 and decided to make High Creek for camp 2...
The walk between Vivian and Halfway was fairly smooth, with no really deep snow (yet). We met a couple other parties briefly, and rested at the top of the trail into Halfway Camp for awhile. I guess it was around 2 or so that we set back out for High Creek.
As we climbed higher, conditions got progressively worse. Neither Jskills or myself had snowshoes, so any momentum we started to get going would abruptly halt with the occasional knee-deep posthole action, which, like the conditions, became increasingly more prevalent.
At one point, the trail became somewhat difficult to decipher, and the postholing increased. We sort of picked it back out, but by this point we were travelling in thigh-deep powder and rapidly losing steam. Coupled with this was the weather; as we reached the ridge just below and around the corner from High Creek, the wind really picked up and the cloud cover began to drop. We hoped it might blow over, but we both decided that we did not want to get caught up high in weather (like an idiot I had forgotten my GPS) and not be able to find the trail to get back down.
So we turned around, I'm guessing at around 9300'. Disappointing, yes, but we both felt OK about the decision, and knew that our spouses would be pleased with an early return. We figured we had been defeated, so why bother spending another night at a camp lower than where we had planned to stay?
Bottom line, great trip in spite of the disappoinment, and in spite of the horrendous soreness in my legs!