Ascent of Indian Mountain on 2012-02-19

Climber: William Musser

Others in Party:Karen Musser <3472>

Others with no summit attempt:
Chuck and Martha Holden;
Russ and Susan Collette
----Only Party on Mountain
Date:Sunday, February 19, 2012
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Indian Mountain
    Elevation:2338 ft / 712 m

Ascent Trip Report

The following morning, we had all three couples finally together and we descided to go see the actual Gulf Hagas formation in the snow. The ski trails were icey and beyond difficult in the canyon area, so we hiked down into the Gulf Hagus area with microspikes on our boots or we would have been on our butts the entire time. The views are beautiful in winter especially the large ice formations.

Susan hurt her knee and she and Russ turned back before they got to the Gulf Hagas formations. The gulf hagas trail is a constant roller coaster ride providing views of the canyon at different angles and hieghts above the falls and river below. We viewed Stair Falls, Billings Falls, and Buttermile Falls and traveled a mile beyond the cutoff trail before heading back for lunch. I estimate we had about 400 feet gain up and back between the camp and turn around point.

The Holdens and us got back to the AMC huts after a long day, but Karen knowing I was itching for a new PB summit, suggested we bust up nearby Indian Mountain, knowing I was a bit dissapointed that Chuck and I did not bag Gulf Hagas Mtn the previous day. We set out late in the day and hiked up the well marked trails up to Lori's Ledge which provides great views of the White Cap Mountain Range and Baxter Peak in the background completley shrouded with snow. Then we climbed around to the back western overloop which many consider to be the top. It is not.

Karen and I then went off trail and bushwhacked the last 100 feet of vertical up through the conifers and in places were forced to post hole in snow that was nearly waist deep. The blow down and rocks at the true summit were covered in snow and it was rediculous trying to verify which of the many mushroom topped formations were actually conceiling the the physical peak. There were some deep drops in these snow covered rocks that retained enough heat to melt snow beneath the snow caps and leave 6 to 10 foot places to fall. thus, the final couple of vertical feet to the top became a bit dangerous. I cleared snow away from the snow bridges and found some more 8 foot drops right near the summit.

We carefully made our way down as the sun was about to set and would not be a good place to hurt a leg with a fall. The views of Elephant Mountain were wonderful nearing sunset. It was an easy journey down and the end of a very long hiking day in the snow.
Karen showed great stamina plodding along the whole way. Since this was one continuous hike from morning to night I added the two way trip of the Gulf Hagas into the route up starting gain for an additional 800 feet of snow hiking.

The next day we cross country skiied back to our cars. Karen's tired legs were regretting the "fun" of the previous day and the skiing uphill for 7 miles took a toll on her morale and she fell a few times. Nothing that a hot lunch in Greenville could not cure.

Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:2248 ft / 684 m
    Total Elevation Loss:1948 ft / 593 m
    Round-Trip Distance:20.6 mi / 33.2 km
    Quality:6 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Bushwhack, Stream Ford, Snow on Ground, Scramble
    Gear Used:
Crampons, Skis, Ski Poles, Hut Camp
    Weather:Cold, Breezy, Clear
Lows 7 F; highs 25 F
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:1998 ft / 608 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 1138 ft / 347 m; Extra: 860 ft / 262m
    Loss on way in:860 ft / 262 m
    Distance:12 mi / 19.3 km
    Route:Gulf Hagas Trails to Indian Tr
    Start Trailhead:Little Lyford AMC Cabins  1200 ft / 365 m
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:1088 ft / 331 m
        Loss Breakdown:Net: 838 ft / 255 m; Extra: 250 ft / 76m
    Gain on way out:250 ft / 76 m
    Distance:8.6 mi / 13.8 km
    Route:Indian Tr to KI Road
    End Trailhead:AMC Winter Parking  1500 ft / 457 m
Ascent Part of Trip: Gulf Hagas

Complete Trip Sequence:
1(Attempt) Gulf Hagas Mountain2012-02-18 a1770 ft / 539 m
2Indian Mountain2012-02-19 b2248 ft / 685 m
Total Trip Gain: 4018 ft / 1224 m    Total Trip Loss: 4018 ft / 1225 m

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