Set out around sunset on the 27th. First 2.5-3 miles were rather uneventful with a few ankle deep drifts of snow. However after the 3 mile point the drifts drasticly deepend to waist deep (and deeper) and made going rather difficult since I wasn't carrying snow gear. Made for an interesting hike!
Backpacked in and spent the night on the cabin porch. The Black Range is a beautiful area, and photos generally don't do it justice. You can see a vast, vast expanse of empty country wrinkled with empty, virtually unknown mountains from Hillsboro. Aspens and oaks were changing very nicely. The Forest Service had left plenty of drinking water in the cabin, which came in handy.
Geez ... how many times have we hiked this one? Thanks for adding it. It also has the highest denial rate of all our hikes. We've been turned back by biblical thunderstorms, fires, wind and waist deep snow. We've probably summited at least 4-5 times.