Yesterday perfectly encapsulated shoulder season: A nice 3-4″ of cool snow on the way in; about 6″ of snow (drifting in places) at elevation; icy steep pitches, sometimes hiding under powdered snow; warming sunshine melting low-lying snow by the end of the day creating wide mud swaths.
Staring down the sheer south side of Redfield, thick with what is nearly impassibly thick trees and debris, and over to Allen Mountain jutting steeply from the surrounding flats, a vulture launched beside me a circled the thermals over my head. I understood the symbolism, took some pictures and headed back.
One of the justifications for pursuing a hiking ‘grid’ (seasonal, monthly, etc.) is to experience a place in different conditions. I definitely got a Spring full on this hike of the Santanonis. The initial plan called for sunrise pictures from atop … Continued