I was looking for an excuse to hit the Y-bar trail, so that I could complete my HAZ alphabet (starting a hike with every letter between A and Z). This trip that Preston set up (thanks Preston!) gave me the perfect excuse.
I set out Friday late afternoon and climbed up the Y-bar. Despite lots of nasty things said about this trail, I liked it because the views were great, and other than about a dozen downed trees, someone had done some serious maintenance on the trail. I camped just below Windsor saddle in the only campsite I could find that provided some type of windbreak. Holy pumpkin, it got cold as soon as the sun set! I think it went from upper 60s to a wind-chill temp of about 20 degrees in 10 minutes! I nearly couldn't get my gloves and hat on before I went from hot to numb fingers! Once I got my tent up, I just climbed in my sleeping bag and tried to stay warm...pumpkin!!
The next morning was ridiculously great as the sun came out and warmed everything up. I went around Mazzie peak, with the snow still plentiful on the north side and in shaded spots. The MDT is in pretty good shape between the Y-bar and Rock Creek, there's some young stuff growing up that will become a problem if not trimmed within the next year. Saw a large group of horsemen on the backside of the peak, then eventually strolled into camp somewhat early. I set up my tent and started to prepare the place for a HAZtastic night. I improved the fire ring, gathered fire wood, built some seating around the fire, improved the turnoff markings, and set out the HAZ welcome mat. I was fifty pages further into my book when I realize its nearly 5PM. Am I going to get stood up? But the crew arrives shortly later and I have a roaring campfire going, I wasn't going to be cold two nights in a row.
Most of the campers I had not met before in person, but I think we had a pretty good time trying to stay warm. Joel wins the prize for attracting the most campfire smoke! But he's on my A-list since he let me have one of the beers he packed in...earned a nomination for HAZ member of the month for sure! Kate won the belching contest, and Joel and Dave tied for the smallest camp setup. Preston won the most cameras packed-in prize. The te-was won the hammock award. Alex won the biggest tent (I think, I didn't see Kate and her husbands tent.)
I hit the Rock Creek trail and found nearly all of it, including some missing switchbacks that Joe and Hank missed, and a separate chute trail that was flagged by people who didn't know where the actual trail was (not so good for people coming uphill, but a quick way back down.) Saw the dayhikers along the way, not sure if they ever caught up with the backpack group. Drove the shuttle vehicle back to Barnhardt and waiting to see if anyone made it out. Saw tewa's half of the crew and waited a little longer, but eventually hit the road before they made it out. I'll have to do the post trip meet and greet with the rest some other time.
A Haztastic event.
Shake Creek Drainage appeared dry.
The Y-bar draininage and all of its minor tributaries below Windsor saddle were flowing.
Several drainages on the backside of Mazzie Peak were flowing.
Between the southern half of Brody Trail and Barnhardt was dry.
Stream was trickling near the campsite just north of the intersection of Barnhardt and the AZT.
One drainage was flowing halfway between Barnhardt and Sandy Saddle on the MDT/AZT.
Sandy Saddle Drainage was flowing quite well.
Creek near Horse Camp was flowing great.
Rock Creek Drainage was flowing well.
The final drainage that meets the rock creek TH was flowing well.