Distance: 9 miles
Elevation Gain: 3,900 Feet
Time: 7 Hours?
Who Came: summithound (Zach), Matt, and I
Sorry it took a week to post this, I had to many friends night, and been "busy" this week.
Summithound from nwhikers invited me to go with on Vesper Peak, although I have already summited three times, it would be fun to go for another round.
Before the trip, the night before I went to a youth group party, played alot of running around games, biked home, and then got 1 hour of sleep.
The trip started out with the usual drama, I get some of the stuff ready the night before, but not everything. I set the alarm so I have some time to pack a few more items in the morning. When I wake up, bam! I can’t find some of my essentials. My mom cleaned my room, which if you lived at my house you would know what that means, good luck finding your gear! Before I left for the trip Zach sent me a message saying:
"Having been up there a few times already, I assume you have all the necessary gear but as a friendly reminder don’t forget sunscreen and sun glasses. "
And sure enough even though I packed the sunscreen the night before, my sunglasses were no where to be found, and then my ice axe! I ran franticly though the house trying to find it, fortunately Michael lets me borrow him. I really need to get a lock for my room "I thought to myself as I was running out the door".
Getting to the trailhead it was a nice day of weather, although there was a report of high avalanche danger above 6,000 feet. If the conditions were unsafe, I would have bailed. The start of the hike we went at a decent pace. Once we got to the river, it was a little more than I had expected, so the crossing took some time to figure out. Jumping across the last boulder section would have been to dangerous, we did not want to get our feet soaked, so we went a little up hill to find a decent crossing. (Thanks Matt for letting me borrow a ski poll on that part.)
Then we got to the uphill part which was on the lower face of Morning Star Mountain. As always, it had a tropical feeling to the place with the heat and moisure. Getting into Wirlz Basin was a relief from the heat, plus I always love the sharp looking peaks towering above. The place looked nearly as snowy as it was when I was there in winter time (although minus the side avalanche and fresh snow). At the part when there was snow, once again I got to kick in some nice steps although Matt would kick in some steps as well. Once we got into the sun, I had to squint as much as I could, sometimes covering most of my view with my hands, and at other times closing my eyes to prevent snow blindness. A skier came by and seemed concerned but I told him I would be alright.
Going up to the pass was fun with the snow slope, I always love steep snow, there is something about it that makes me want to go to the mountains, and being the guy kicking in the steps makes it even more fun. From here we travered along the bottom of Sperry, which had a few posthole spots as it usually does.
Then we headed up to the summit which was a little tiring, but had good views, which made up for the lack of views during my winter accent. We stayed a long time on the summit, eating, talking, and enjoying ourselves. There was an unusual amount of lady bugs up there. Then it was time for the decent.
Going down was a blast for me, it’s amazing how much speed you can get while going down. After my first glassade, on my second I created a snow slide which there was snow all around making the "sssssssssssssssss" noise with other little slabs. My quote comes to mind "How do you like your avalanches? I like them slabby!", but I made sure there was no real danger at the scene, although some people heading up gave me a look like I was crazy for riding on the snow slide. Then when there was another snow slope I did a super fast run glassade. A moment ago I remember being above Sperry, and then now I looked in suprise at how far down I made it in such little time. If I were solo I bet I could have made it to the parking lot in an hour from the summit.
After waiting a while my team caught up and then at Headlee Pass it was part two. Although it was a good glassade, I had to slow down near the end to prevent myself from flying into some rocks below. But then I got to glassade the rest of the basin. From here I took a mini nap on some rocks until my partners caught up. My 1 hour of sleep was finally catching up to me. The rest of the way went fine getting to the car.
Special Thanks to Zach for inviting me, and driving me, also the photos of this trip report were taken by him as well. Matt was also great on the trip. Hope to go on a trip with you guys soon.