By: Ron Hudson
SPS Trip - Leaders: Ron Hudson and Patty Rambert
It was superb weather. Cloudless and hardly a breath of wind the whole weekend. Nine of us started up the Baxter Pass trail at 8 AM Saturday. Took us 7 hours to the 10,800’ point where there was considerable snow cover. Our camp there was some tents on snow and others on rock. There was not much snow below 10,000’ – some snow in avalanche gullies even at 8,000’ but really not a lot considering it was early May. The unmaintained trail has some bushy areas, but no big problem hiking.
At 6 AM Sunday we started for the peak. The snow conditions were ideal. Pretty firm all day with no postholing. No sun cups. We used crampons up the steep (to 45 degrees) gully leading from the bowl between Black and Diamond. We chose the widest-righthand-most- chute to the plateau area before the summit. The summit view was nice. Lots of snow on the peaks, but ice starting to break up in the Rae Lakes below.
So all nine of the group made the summit. Black Mtn beckoned close, but would have taken too long for the group to do it and return to the cars at a reasonable time on this two day trip. Two fast ones signed out and went over to Black. The rest of us went back down to camp, glissading on the softening snow. Then we hiked down to the cars, arriving at the carpark at a respectable 4 PM.
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