Ascent of Stonewall Peak on 2017-02-06

Climber: Danny Smith

Date:Monday, February 6, 2017
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Stonewall Peak
    Elevation:5730 ft / 1746 m

Ascent Trip Report

It has been many years since I stood on top of this beautiful little peak. It is close to home but I have only climbed it two other times. Today was very different. The forecast was calling for rain with snow possible and high winds. When I pulled in to the day use lot at Paso Picacho campground the ranger drove in just after I parked. He gave me that look, like are you really going in this weather? Absolutely!!!! So across the street and up the trail I go. The first mile was light rain and 10 mile per hour wind, and about 200 feet visibility. The second mile was absolutely beautiful, Rain and sleet, wind around 40 mph and visibility 50 feet at best. I could hear the wind roaring up the rocks and off the summit, and the trees a half mile below me were all singing and whistling in the wind. There was quite a bit of snow and ice on the north side and the trail but not enough to need my spikes or crampons. I took a hot cup of coffee in an insulated cup along with water in my pack so I could have a nice hot cup of coffee on the summit but the wind was so bad on top and with zero visibility I just did a quick turn around. I could have got behind a couple of the large boulders just below the summit for that hot coffee but decided with the weather getting worse to head back down to the trailhead. It was truly a beautiful day. It is always interesting to experience the mountains in their different moods, sometimes sunny and calm, sometimes stormy and a bit cranky, but no matter what the mood they are always beautiful and only require one thing, respect. I did not have Kim with me today as she was working and I was out being a climbing bum. I had the whole mountain to myself this morning.
Summary Total Data
    Round-Trip Distance:4 mi / 6.4 km
    Route:Stonewall Peak Trail
    Trailhead:Paso Picacho Campground   
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Snow on Ground
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles

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