November 13, 2010

Bringing in Winter on Mica Peak

Harwood and I decided to finally make it to the top of Mica Peak, regardless of weather.  I'm not sure if it was a bike ride or a hike.  Either way, I'm calling it epic.

Harwood has lived off the western ridge of Mica for a year and attempted to find his way to the top once last summer but the maze of fire roads, deer trails, and no trespassing signs stopped him.  We started up the road with the idea of finding a trail that would take us to the top.  We made progress up the mountain through some brutal-at-times bushwhacking, but finally relented and found a spur road that led us back to the main summit road.

The route as tracked by the GPS that got us there and back:

We both embraced the cold and wet, deciding that the adventure was much better than being warm, dry, and bored at home.

Going up was the easy part.

Obligatory summit photos so that we can prove we made it:

 We lamented that with all the clouds and snow we couldn't enjoy the view and headed down quickly.  By the time we were below snow level we were shivering under a crust of ice with useless, block-like hands and feet.  We stopped to try to warm up but only succeeded in getting soaked to the bone and tasted the grit in our teeth from the fenderless slog back to Harwood's house.  All in all a morning well spent.

Warming up in the car, documenting the dirt on my face:

Looking all of my 38 years in this one.

The consensus is that next Spring/Summer we ride the road to the top and do recon on the way down to find an all dirt route back to Harwood's. 

A parting shot of how my large mountain bike barely squeezes onto the rack:

Now onto my next "great idea".