Granite Mountain Hike

Saturday July 4th, 2009

Bill suggested a hike over the fourth of July holiday. Sounded like a great idea, a good way to stay in hiking shape for our upcoming trip to Iceland. (I hope we get to do a lot of hiking in Iceland, we will see how the weather turns out.) We had not climbed Granite Mountain since 2005, but I remembered it as being a long steep ascent that was very hot. So I brought extra water this time. The peak of Granite Mountain is 5630 feet, so the four mile hike is uphill all the way (guide book says there is 3000 feet of elevation gain in the four mile trail to the top.)

We could not make it to the top. There was still a lot of snow at the summit. We walked partway across the snow field, but to get to the lookout station required a scramble of about 100 feet up a snow field. There were plenty of people who did climb up through the snow and reach the peak, but I noticed that all of those people carried ski poles or hiking poles used to brace themselves as they walked up. We didn't have any poles. I am sure we could have made it with a lot of effort, but the view from a hundred feet lower is just as good as making it to the top. We saw a number of people attempt to avoid the snow and reach the top by clambering over the boulders, but all of them turned back - apparently some of the boulders are loose and scramble is too difficult.

It was hot on the way up, but we made terrific time. Melanie setting the pace, and we passed a number of parties and no one passed us. But a lot of them had packs on, I guess they planned to camp out over the weekend somewhere near the top. Once we got near the snow, it was a lot cooler. It turned out to be ideal weather for hiking, with no bugs anywhere.

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