Tue, Dec 19, 2017
It was 23F outside when we got up and headed out around 7a the next morning with a colorful sunrise to greet us. With our Sno Park pass in hand (printed out via internet), we drove up and over Luther Pass on SR89 and then up to Carson Pass at the top of SR88. My plan was for us to snowshoe a few miles out to Winnemucca Lake and then climb Round Top if conditions permitted. We spent about an hour covering the distance to the lake, finding it frozen and a novel experience for Jackie to walk along the surface with several inches of solid ice beneath us. Leniticular clouds had formed early overhead and we had little sunshine for the first hour and a half. The winds increased as we climbed higher above the lake as Jackie's toes were growing colder. We passed a trio of guys my age who had started out ahead of us on crampons, and Jackie was quite proud to have been able to pass them (the conditions definitely favored snowshoes today). We got up to about 9,400ft with the winds growing stronger when, after a little pow-wow, we decided to turn around. Jackie felt embarrassed that we would have to descend past the guys we had so recently outrun, so we made a wide U-turn to allow us to make an end-around back to the descent line without going by them. When I looked back up, they had paused to watch us descending, probably wondering why.
We returned to the lake and then continued northeast to Elephants Back in way of a consolation prize. The upper several hundred feet of this smaller objective were mostly free of snow, so we abandoned the snowshoes and climbed the remaining distance in our boots. It was cold and windier on top so we stayed only long enough to post a few photos and videos on social media (pretty much what you'd expect from a millennial). We got back to Carson Pass shortly before 11:30a and decided to call it a day. The wind got the better of us and we didn't really want to go back out and fight it any more. Though we didn't make our primary objective and never got to use the crampons, Jackie still reported having a great time. And that's about all Dad could ask for...
For more information see these SummitPost pages: Elephants Back
This page last updated: Tue Dec 19 19:03:33 2017
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