This was an outing with the California Mountaineering Club. Everyone came ready for a frigid workout. We took the tram up and started on the Round Valley Trail a little after 9am. There was solid snow cover all around so the entire route was done with snowshoes (one of our party had brought skis but that didn't work out so he switched to his snowshoes as well).
An added bonus was that it snowed all day. This made the scenery absolutely stunning: icicles everywhere and mounds of fresh snow dressing the trees. Here is a shot of one our party en route:
And here is a shot of our group taking a rest break:
Reaching the summit took us a little under 5 hours. However, the top had whiteout conditions so no vistas were to be had. There was one hardy camper at the top with his tent pitched and intending to stay overnight. At the beginning of our return trip we had to pause for a navigational correction but we got straightened out after a few minutes of consulting the topo and scratching our heads. The next two photos show our descent in whiteout conditions:
We returned to the tram around 4:45 pm and every soul complained about having to ascend that paved ramp.
"As an adolescent I aspired to lasting fame, I craved factual certainty, and I thirsted for a meaningful vision of human life - so I became a scientist. This is like becoming an archbishop so you can meet girls."