Short Trip ReportPhotos from Fred and my trip to Hinkhouse, May 24, 2009.
We left the car at the turnoff to the overlook at about 6am. Were on the summit by 9:30 and back to the car about 11:45. There was still lots of snow and it was very firm going up and enough snow at the notch between the Fickle and Index summits, that the usual rappel/downclimb route was not feasible. We had to descend into the notch further west, which is steeper, so we opted to rappel. The climb out of the notch to the summit is exposed third class, about a 5 minute scramble.
By the time we descended, the snow had totally softened. In the top part of the broad gully the snow was bottomless slush. After some nasty postholing we decided that our safest and least frustrating option was to butt glissade down. I think my behind took several hours to thaw out! Once we got about half way down, about where one has to traverse to the west under the large cliff band, the snow was sufficiently consolidated to easily stay on top.
The weather was perfect and the views spectacular. This is a nice early season outing, provided that avalanche danger is past.