Saturday, we got together with Brad, G and J to hike Thunder Mountain. This was the first time we'd tried the DOT side trailhead. The trail was difficult to follow, was muddy, and definitely needed planking through the muskeg!
I was pretty wiped out from out trip the day before so I was slogging along. Brad even called me a "Debbie Downer".
When we got to the shoulder, we saw 7 mountain goats checking us out. Mr. X and I filtered fresh water draining off the snow sheets for everyone, and then we summitted only to find, crystal clear water at the top, oops.
We wandered around the mountain, sat down and had lunch. Then we attempted Heitzelman Ridge.
I scrambled up after everyone else and then decided I wasn't interested in going farther. J and I hiked back down into the Thunder Mtn bowl. Mr. X, Brad and G continued up the ridgeline, traversing a 30 foot climb with only a piece of rope tied to an alpine scrub keeping them from falling over the edge. Mr. X then felt sick (calories) and turned around to check on me.
With G enthusing about the ridgeline, Brad and she hiked the ridge to the farthest point without snow, while we watched reclining on cushy, sun baked heather (if you look closely you can see them on the ridge in the picture - they are the specks on the right side).
Since it was late afternoon we decided to hike down. We slid down as much of the snow as we could and then hiked quickly through the trees. We made the correct turn down to the DOT side trailhead, and followed tagging until we realized we were lost - following the wrong tags. Thankfully Mr. X and Brad were able to deduce where we were using GPS and we bushwacked the last .40 miles through skunk cabbage, devils club and rotting nurse logs.
When we got back to the car, the temperature read 88 degrees. Suffice it to say, Saturday was a record breaking weather day. Brad suggested we buy popsicles so we went to the store. I bought Mr. X a carton of vanilla ice cream, which he ended up eating all by himself - an easy way to get alot of calories. The rest of us enjoyed banana popsicles.