October is always a month of transition, especially in the PNW. I love the shoulder season, with the crisp Fall air which eventually brings snow and the anticipation of winter. It’s still surprising what a difference one week can make, and a few thousand feet of elevation.
The objectives were two fold: peep some leaves and get in another more pre-season conditioning climb up a big mountain. The weather was essentially horrendous, with visibility approaching nil at the summit and winds gusting in the 60s, to say nothing of the driving rain. Despite the inclement weather I was rewarded with a few glimpses out of the Ravine and across the Notch. These are the ones that made the cut:
A few weekends ago, Ziehl, his friend Annelise and I headed off to the Sandwich Range for a short hike and some ski recon. We decided to tackle Osceola and see if we could get a close look at the slides running down toward the Kanc on the North face of the mountain. The ski recon turned out to be a total flop: once at the top, we found ourselves totally socked in with only 100′ or so of visibility. We could probably have bushed-whacked to the slides using Backcountry Navigator for bearings, but the undergrowth was so thick and the visibility so poor that we scrapped that part of the itinerary. We would have had to trample all sorts of alpine plants and probably still not get a great look at the objective. The rest of the hike was pretty nice though, and Ziehl documents it here.
My sister and I had been wanting to hike Mt. Mansfield ever since she started going to school in Burlington. Last year we considered it but hiked Camel’s Hump instead. Last winter I thought about laying down some turns off the mountain, but we never caught the snow right, or went to Mt. Washington instead.