A storm rolled in Tuesday night so, as opposed to the blazing hot sunny day we had Monday, we woke to a damp cold windy day. We met at the boat dock of Two Medicine lake. We had one member arrive ill prepared for the cold weather, rather than turn him away we were able to scrounge up enough extra gear for him to participate. We took the boat over to the far side of the lake and proceeded up the trail towards Dawson Pass.
En route we had to cross an enormous snow field. I had expected some snow here, I had prepared everyone to expect a small one like you would normally see here in late June. Instead it looked more like early May. I had given everyone a little training on how to self-arrest on a mild slope using trekking poles. Due to the cold conditions the snow was quite hard and required about four kicks to create each step. It was fine at first, but as we crossed the snow got steeper and steeper until about 2/3 of the way across we were beyond the ability of the equipment we were carrying, we should have had ice axes. In retrospect I should have turned the group around but that in itself would have been dangerous as well. Instead we completed the crossing and continued up the trail. When we arrived we were greeted with about 35 degree 40 mph winds blowing ice crystals in our faces. Hunkering down behind a large rock we ate some lunch.
The conditions being so bad at this point about half the crew did not want to continue. Ralph volunteered to take them back to the trail head while four of us continued on to the summit. Reaching the summit was easy. Mostly it is just a walk up a talus slope until the last 75 feet or so when you have to do a little class three climbing. We took a few photos then head down to get out of the wind. Thinking there was a boat every hour the four of us raced down the trail thinking we could catch the 4:15. We made it in time only to find the next boat was at 5:15 the rest of the group had just missed the 3:15 boat so had a 2 hour wait while we had to wait another hour, swatting at mosquitoes.
Next time, no boat. I thought it would add a bit of fun to the event. Instead the long waits seemed to bring down everyone’s spirits. By the time we got back to the cars no one was in the mood for a trail gate.
Have some photos from this event that you'd like to share in our photo album? Please forward them to Tim Anderson at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note that we prefer to receive the photos in approximately 640x480 or 750x500 pixels - do NOT send original high-res photos. If you have a LOT of photos, please submit up to twenty of your favorites (only) for a day event, or up to forty of your favourites for a multi-day event. Thank you.
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