Monday, June 18, 2012

McCarthy Trip

Our original plan was to hike up 8ish miles on Root glacier, cross an unnamed 5,000 ft pass, descend  to the headwaters of McCarthy creek and float back to town.  But its a long drive to McCarthy and  it seemed like every creek and river was turbulent, and muddy from all the snow melt.When we got to McCarthy we road our bikes to McCarthy Creek the river was high and brown, not good.

It took a lot of vacillating back and forth, and even packing our boats, before we could finally give up the dream of floating the creek.  To much snow and to high of water. We enjoyed an amazing dinner at a perfect campsite by the river, I love being on vacation.

Kellie cooking fresh salmon in butter..Yum

I have always wanted to hike up Donaho Peak, it sits between the Root and Kennicott glaciers, with high glaciated peaks all around.  There was still a lot of snow on the peak, but we decided to give it a look anyway.

Beautiful Downtown Kennicott

The hiking across the glacier is easy, no crampons needed.... if your willing to look around and go around obstacles.  But the views are just stunning, there are few other places this beautiful.
Kellie hiking across the Root glacier

I was very surprised when we got to the top of the morraine pile and there was actually  Park service signage, and bear bins.  We found a lovely flat place to camp with no bugs and amazing views.


Kellie on the edge

The next morning wasn't super inspiring peak hiking weather, the top was enveloped by clouds.  But we decided we like walking and went anyway.

Kellie with the base of Donaho peak in the distance.

There was a short but brutal section of bushwhacking up the gully and Kellie told me how she really feels about bushwhacking. She said she never wanted to bushwhack again even if it meant not going to some places, and she sounded like she really meant it!!!   (To bad we missed the awesome trail on the way up, but we were both thankful for it on the way down.)


We persisted through the vegetation and finally got into the gut of the peak and then it was just lots of up...mostly hard snow with a couple scary sections of loose steep rock.

I was kind of over the whole adventure by the time we got to the ridge, but the thigh deep post holing and shrouded summit clinched it for me.  After a sit down Kellie decided she needed another look and set off.  The thigh deep shit didn't last forever, and she made it could I resist after that?

Kellie in the fog headed toward the summit

The clouds at the top relented for intermittent views of the was beautiful.  We could see the route we had wanted to do to McCarthy creek, and were glad we were not over there..too much snow.

Summit Shot

Kellie hit an ice lense on the way down the steep, rocky gully and almost died.  Luckily she managed to control her slide and only lost a lot of skin. This picture was the next day after she cleaned them again in some glacier water.

 Hand Carnage
It was a super fun trip, I'd probably wait till there was less snow in the gut to do the peak again. I still would love to go back for the original trip, but might be better in the fall.

 Looking back to Donaho Peak


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