Ascent of Equinox Mountain on 2016-02-13

Climber: Nicholas Daniel

Other People:Solo Ascent
Only Party on Mountain
Date:Saturday, February 13, 2016
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Equinox Mountain
    Elevation:3840 ft / 1170 m

Ascent Trip Report

I planned this as a hike day and unfortunately the weather wasn't too cooperative so it was a cold one. I started off from the TH off of West Union Street at about 9:10 with the thermometer reading 9. The first 0.5 mile is pretty easy, lots of footprints even though there was about 4-5inches of fresh power. Once I got past the last connecting trail the footprints dwindled and there were maybe one set of tracks, a couple days old. I kind of wished the snow were deeper, or less deep. I carried snowshoes the whole way, but the variable 2-5 inches of powder wasn't really worth it to put the shoes on, however shallow enough to hit several patches of ice under the powder. I ended up going with microspikes the whole way. I made it to the summit in about 2 hours and was hit by 0 degrees and strong winds at the top. I took cover in a corner of the visitor center, put on more clothes, and took some photos. I planned on walking the Skyline road to Little Equinox, but as I was freezing, the temps were dropping hourly I decided to head back instead and check out Lookout Rock and Deer Knoll later on. It took about 15 minutes to get to Lookout Rock, passing the strange tombstone of the dog, Mr Barbo. The views were decent. I headed back down the Blue Summit trail. It was pretty cold on the way down, my buff froze solid from my breath and icicles coated my eyelids, but once I got going in the trees I warmed up. When I got to the closest point to the Mountain Bluff trail, I bushwhacked about 100m and forded a stream to get on the Mountain bluff trail. I took this south down to Deer Knoll, which really is a knoll but is impressive how it juts up from the flat trail area. I had to bushwhack to the top of this. It was incredibly windy at the top and I nearly froze in the second I took my gloves off to take pics, but the views here were great, equal to Equinox. It would be a great place to picnic or spend some time on the bare rocks taking in the view on a warm summer day. I headed down Deer Knoll, took Trout Lily trail (broke trail), and connected to the Lowlanders trail, getting me back to the blue summit and my car. Overall about 5 hours for this route. When done my stocking hat was frozen in the shape of my head.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:2740 ft / 835 m
    Quality:6 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Snow on Ground
    Gear Used:
Crampons, Ski Poles
    Weather:Frigid, Breezy, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:2740 ft / 835 m
    Route:Blue Summit Trail
    Start Trailhead:1100 ft / 335 m
    Time:2 Hours 
Descent Statistics
    Route:Mountain Bluff/Trout Lily/Flatlanders

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