President's Day weekend just didn't work out the way that my wife Katie and I had planned. In retrospect I'm glad that it didn't. We had been working on plans for several weeks and just couldn't get things to work out. At the last moment we decided to head down to the Lost Creek Wilderness (LCW) area that Kane turned me onto a few years back.
Our original goal was South Tarryall Peak, although I wasn't sure what kind of snow the standard North Slopes route would be holding.
We got down to the TH around sunrise and found increadible blue skies and very little wind. From the TH there didn't appear to be very much snow, although I had a feeling things would change. We decided to carry our snow shoes in anticipation of this.
The hike started out a usual with great snow free trails. We encountered several awesome rock formations near the Lizard Rock area. Once we got to the Hankins Pass Trail junction, the snow began to appear on the Northern aspects. Snowshoes weren't required, but sure were useful. There were some older tracks that made the going a bit easier. Other than some amazing views of McCurdy and Tarryall Massifs, the going to Hankins Pass was straightforward.
Once we made the pass, I had already decided that South Tarryall was definately out of the question due to the amount of snow in the trees. Instead I chose to head to Lake Park. We soon lost all resemblance of a trail and began to break trail in snow that was knee deep even while wearing snowshoes. At around 10,800 ft, we started heading more towards the SW Ridge of "Lake Park Peak" in hopes that he standard route on this peak would be holding less snow. As we approached the 11,100 ft saddle along the SW ridge we began to get into deeper snow. Just when we thought we'd never get out, we hit the saddle to find some of the most amazing granite formations I've seen to date. It was also here that we got our first glimpse of "Lake Park Peak's" west summit. Instead of heading south east to avoid more difficult terrain, we opted to tackle it head on. We encountered very pleasent Class 4 scambling on our way to the summit.
The summit provided some great scrambling and views of the surrounding area. The wind had picked up and was howling once we got to the top. Looking back on S Tarryall made me feel better about our plan change, when I saw all the snow.
In all our failed attempt at planning the holiday weekend made for an excellent outing that we'll not soon forget.