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Trip Report    

Winter Scramble - Mildred Point

Despite the forecast for a day of rain, despite the rain falling at the meeting point, despite the rain falling at Longmire, we set out anyway. The rain promptly stopped and we had a nice ascent, until the rains returned with a vengeance and forced us to retreat just short of the summit.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles

When we saw the weather forecast the day before, we debated cancelling the trip. When it was raining hard at the meeting place, we debated cancelling the trip.  When it was raining at Longmire, we debated cancelling the trip. But  the prevailing attitude was "what the heck, let's at least check it out".  With all the rain that had fallen in the past few days, and all the reported melting of the snowpack, we expected the route to be mostly snow-free and debated whether to haul our snowshoes or leave them in the car. We opted to travel light and left the snowshoes, the ice axes, the helmets, and the avy gear in the cars.  The rains stopped about a half hour into our hike,  at about the time that the snow started covering the path. By the time we were at 4200 feet, the snow was six inches to a foot deep and by the time we reached 5000 feet we could have used the snowshoes. By 5200 feet, we were postholing to mid-thighs and progress slowed to snail's pace.  We paused at the flats at about 5500 feet to debate whether to give up or go on. As we were debating, the heavens settled the argument -- they unleashed a torrential monsoon.  Our descent gave us all a chance to test the waterproofness of our gear and by and large we fared well.  In retrospect, everyone felt that they were glad that we ventured out.