Went out for a winter ascent of Little Black Mountain with some friends, Carl Larson, Ann Colvin, Mark Young, and Dave. We micro-spiked up most of the trail until at the ridgeline where most everyone decided to put on their snowshoes, I chose to post-hole which wore me out and left my legs fatigued. Over all a much rougher hike than expected but definitely a fun time with friends!
Decided after a week of wanting to hike out to Donut Falls and not ever being motivated to leave the house after dark, we finally set out around 8PM to hike up to Donut Falls. Since the gate is closed from Big Cottonwood Canyon Road, we had to start our hike there, after .8 miles of hiking we finally got to the trailhead. We stopped for a second to look at the TH sign and then continued on, shortly encountering a group of 5 snowshoers which told us the trail was beautiful. We hiked up to the falls, much faster than the first time I'd traveled up there with the U.T.E. members, walked right on up to the falls, only encountering a little bit of ice that proved slightly challenging to cross, and then made it to the cave opening. We went inside and sat where it was VERY warm, man the air was chilly that night, a whopping 8 degrees! After chilling and taking a couple pictures we trekked back down the trail and ran from the TH to where we had parked the car along BCC Road. All in all a fun trip.
Since Monica Birth bailed at Einstein's Bagels and it was extremely stupid to try to hike Mt Raymond in this snowpack we opted for a slightly easier hike ;-) We instead did Bell's Canyon, not sure if this was Dave's first trip there but he didn't seem very familiar with the trail. We hiked almost all the way to the first falls but due to the lack of tracks I thought we were going the wrong way and we turned back and went all the way to the bridge, after encountering a couple on the trail and finding that we were in fact going the right way we went back up and found the falls. They were frozen over but sadly it was snowing and they did not look as majestic as I was hoping for. On the trip back down we ran into Monica, too funny! We teased her a little and hiked back down to the car without her, she'd yet to make it to the falls.
First Hike of the 2012 year! David and I were late to the trailhead, as we had planned to meet with a group of friends. We came across many other hikers and trailrunners but never encountered expected people from our party :-(
The trail was very dry in many places, and of course in the permanently shaded areas there was slick ice, which we prepared for and brought our Kahtoola micro-spikes ;-) There were a few groups that only made it so far up due to their lack of gear, it wasn't terrible coming up on ice but heading down the trail can be a disaster w/o the right gear... We made it to the saddle, scrambled up some class 3/4 portions to the summit and took a break to rest and capture photos at the top. There was snow and ice on the top but not as much as there normally would be this time of the year.
WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.