Wednesday, January 26, 2011

January Thaw: An Early Trip Up Carbonate Mt.

After a cold and snowy November and December, we've had a bit of January thaw in our part of the Northern Rockies.  So, it seemed time to abandon the diagonal stride for some real striding on the Carbonate Mountain spine - a short, steep 1,300 ft climb that gets enough foot traffic in winter, barring a big snow fall, to make for a pretty enjoyable up and down with Yak Trax or, my favorites, Kahtoola KTS crampons.

The longer switchback route up Carbonate is our go-to run in the spring, as anyone who reads this blog is tired of hearing (posts), but the climb up the spine is a great way to get some good vert up and down and begin to season the quads for those early spring outings.

As the iPhone photos show (which may be of local interest only), there's some bare earth, but the up and down switchback laps of spring are a ways away, especially with La Nina haunting the west this year.  Regardless, it really felt great after a long early winter's rest to step into my running shoes, hop on to some familiar ground, and put in a good effort.

At the flag, looking north.
Looking west.
A bit of traffic on the Jeep trail descent.
Looking down the spine toward Hailey.
Upper switchback junction with spine.
Lower switchback junction with spine.


Brad Mitchell said...

Good recon! I took a look at it this past weekend and thought "maybe?" - naw it's way too ealry. Still a lot of snow up there and I'm sure no one has thought to wear snowshoes on the switchback trail to keep it wide:(
Baldy is next up!

Hank Dart said...

If the rest of winter stays light, it could be an early season on Carbo. Time will tell. I'm working up to Baldy in the mean time.