Jason, Tom, and I went for a hike up White Pine this morning. The guys wanted to stand on the summit of the Pfeiff but I convinced them that White Baldy would be more fun. Besides, neither one of them had stood on the summit previously so a nice adventure was in store for all.
The UAC had predicted high winds throughout the day with gusts to the 50 mph range. We thought they were wrong as we left the parking lot under calm skies. An hour later as we climbed high into the White Pine basin the wind picked up enough to make Jason pull over his hood since he forgot a hat (and sun glasses for that matter). 30 minutes later, the wind was sufficient to make us cower behind any boulder we could find on the exposed ridge, even if the relief was only temporary.
In spite of the incessant biting wind, we enjoyed easy rock moves over the blocky granite ridge and Jason and Tom both stood on the summit for the first time. Unfortunately, my promise of good skiing on the Red Pine side appeared to be a lie. From the top all we could see was endless talus dusted with too little snow. However, a continued traverse allowed us to spy a shallow gully that seemed to hold enough. Another 5 minutes of down climbing set us free.
Not quite done, we bounced over to Lake Peak and sampled fantastic snow in the Lake Couloir and in another more NE facing line before braving the Alders on our exit.
It was really nice to get in one more day in the high alpine before some more sustained weather moves in over the next few days. Looks like our scheduled workout consisting of painful intervals just got pushed back another day.
|Skinning toward White Baldy as the winds begin to strengthen|
|Tom (blue) and Jason (orange) along the Baldy ridge|
|The way is up!|
|More fun moves|
|And a couple more with big exposure to the climber's right|
|Jason dancing around rocks on the descent|
|Tom and some cold powder|
|JD also forgot a helmet on top of sunglasses and a hat|
|Last one of the day|
A few clips of a windy day on White Baldy from andy dorais on Vimeo.