I thought there might be some snow on the ground. Was hoping for a few inches of crusty snow.
Instead, the trail was covered in ice, both the Winslow ( used for ascent ) and the Barlow Trails.
Gallery / slide show
It was not terribly cold, and was very clear, so I parked at the gate - and immediately had to put on spikes; the road was mostly an ice sheet.
Reaching the Winslow Trail, started up, was immediately impressed by the amount of ice. Probably should have turned back.
But, despite the ice being a bit over the limits of spikes I did manage to reach the summit.
And the summit was awesome! Hung out for a long while, until some meetup group started arriving. Descending, I continued to encounter groupers; I was a little concerned - a few of them didn't seem to really be in the right place...
Thinking about descending, I considered going down the Rollins Trail and hitching a ride. I thought maybe the southern exposure would have made that trail ice-free.
That's how bad the ice was on the ascent.
But a couple other hikers said the Rollins trail was icy too. Mmph. Decided maybe the Barlow trail being less steep would be the safer descent route.
Maybe it was; but it was VERY icy too. Actually did a couple short bushwhacks off trail to skirt the ice.
Pretty close to trail head, encountered some rescue people heading up.
Sure enough, one of the meetup people had busted something. I would've helped, but too exhausted to go back up and then down again. In any event the rescue people said they had it under control, and a helicopter would do the actual evacuation.
I did hear the helo a little later, but I was too in the trees to see it. When I got down to my car there was quite a collection of rescue personnel.
Takes a lot of effort to get somebody off the mountain!
Safe trails all!