Kessler was supposed to go with me on this trip, but he had a bad ingrown toenail, so I got to go with Shaylee. We had a reservation for the Peter Estin Hut. Since we didn't start towards the hut until 1 PM, we hurried fast.
The route up went pretty uneventful and we made the 4.4 miles with 2000+ feet elevation gain in less that three hours, which is good considering we were on showshoes. The guidebook said the route take 5-7 hours, so we were pleased with ourselves. There was some light snow at times, but the weather wasn't that bad.
Shaylee and I set off to climb Prospect and Charles Peaks. It was a somewhat mild 1F (-17.5C), which was much warmer than our Christmas trip.
Unfortunately, the route towards Charles Peak was not broken and there was lots of strenuous trailbreaking. Shaylee broke the whole trail up, but I would still sink to my chest at times. The powder snow was really deep!
We made slot progress up to the summit of Prospect Peak (11,860 feet). The views were spectacular. We then headed towards Charles Peak (12,050 feet) and climbed up the scenic ridge to the summit. There were some clouds at times, but the weather was pretty good. The chill factor was -22F (-30C), but we were working hard! It actually took us as long to get to the summit of Charles Peak from Peter Estin Hut than it did from the trailhead to Peter Estin Hut!
After enjoying the summit, we headed back down to the hut. I wanted to try a shorter route down, but it was a mistake and we had another long trailbreaking experience. We should have went back over Prospect Peak on our previously broken trail After finally reaching the hut, we ate a quick lunch and then snowshoed rather quickly down to the trailhead.
It was a great trip and the summit of Charles Peak was well earned!
Climbed up from Brush Creek via the Iron Edge Trail, it snowed overnight but was a beautiful clear day. Had about 3 inches of snow on the trail the whole way, a little more closer to the summit.
March 26, 2007: West Face (ascent/ski descent)
March 27, 2007: West Face & East Face (ascent/ski descent)
March 28, 2007: West Face (ascent), East Face into East Brush Creek (ski descent)