Something I try to do each year is hike/ skin the summit after the mountain closes. (a birthday gift to myself)
Last year didn't work out, due to construction of snow making lines. The season ended late because of all the snow we had ;-) and I had mentioned my intent but was advised NOT to access the off season trails for risk of a run away section of 6 inch steel pipe. OK, I'm good with that.
But this spring all was quiet. I was concerned that there would be too little snow. Not much of a winter, remember? The hike up was "dry" until mid mountain. In fact the entire uphill effort was "skins optional", and I chose to leave the boots packed away with the skins, The skis point to the sky..
As expected, the snow deepened with the elevation, modest as both are. There were some sketchy stretches where a slip would send me 30 meters down and into trees, but hey! We humans can "kick in" and walk like ducks! ;-) The poles were a necessity!
There were two of Sam Adams' finest in my pack, but absolutely no one on the summit to share with. In fact, the lack of activity on or around the mountain was some what spooky. The day was clear, with warm sun. even if the breeze was chill. The beers went down sitting on a stationary lift chair, enjoying the expansive view of springtime grayness. 'Taint , 'taint winter, and it 'taint summer.
I changed socks and into the Scarpa Denali boots that fit and feel like slippers. (Oh! so comfortable!) 'Walked over to the trail entrance and down abut 10 meters to the first snow (the summit get SUN) 'strapped and buckled into the old pair of "SWISS ARMY" Alpine skis that I save for these nostalgia excursions and started down. First "Committed" with a little "kick" required to get over an exposed rock ledge about half way in. Then duck the closed rope and skip the "fast grass" into "Ripcord". The corn snow just may have been the best skiing all year! too bad it was so short. Definatly YO-YO goodness (If I were a younger man). There was stop at the top for a photo, and another at the bottom looking up. I'll try to get them attached. Nothing special to see though.
A short hike out from the North side and then clip in again for the ru down the front. Only 20 meters down and there was a 2 meter "cliff" onto dirt. WTF! I don't do drops on to dirt! The cats must have made the cut, and the sun did the rest. A bit of side trip through the trees offered a 3 foot drop onto snow. I'm OK with that! The ski down the front was filled with decisions. The snow was sparse enough to leave the questions of "here" or "there". surprisingly,(to me) the skiing continued down to the very place I needed to walk back to the base parking area I began.
What a treat!
I'LL DO IT AGAIN! I hope.