I woke up to an alarm clock that had already been going off for a 1/2 hour...oops! I quickly got ready and made my way down I70 to Mayflower Gulch. The weather looked nice during the drive and I hoped it would stay that way all day!
The temp was pretty warm when Matt and I started off, sans snowshoes. We followed the trail of a few people that had left not long before us. We were hoping we could get quite a ways without our snowshoes. We postholed thigh deep a time or two in the trees, otherwise it wasn't too bad. Nothing could take away from the amazing weather!
We gradually made our way up the slope below Mayflower Hill. Near the top we noticed a bit of a cornice on Mayflower.
We started making our way across the basin below Pacific Peak's impressive North face. We had been following a skier and snowshoer's trail, but never saw them until half way across the basin. They were climbing up the face of Pacific. Heading across the basin Crystal can be seen looking out from behind the false summit.
We were still resistent to putting on snowshoes. At one point I literally crawled on my hands and knees because I was postholing. We were so close to talus leading to the saddle, we didn't feel like taking our snowshoes off our packs and putting them on for just a few minutes. For the most part we were able to stay on the talus up to the saddle between Crystal and Pacific and on the way up to the false summit. The wind started picking up at this point. Pacific Peak was an impressive sight from the false summit. The North Couloir looks inviting!!
Looking towards Crystal's true summit, I suprised by how much snow there was.
But it made for a fun ascent. The wind was in a playful mood today. One minute it was gusting so we would put our jackets on. Then it would stop and it would get hot. I gave up and just left it off. We reached the summit and found a couple that had skinned up to the ridge between Peak 10 and Crystal and hiked over. After they left we had the summit to ourselves. Aside from the wind, it was so nice I could have stayed there all day and taken in the views.
Unfortunately, we eventually had to start heading down. Aside from the wind now blowing directly in our faces, the hike back was uneventful. We did have to give in and put on our snowshoes going across the basin. We couldn't have asked for a better day!
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