Mt. Arrowsmith Judge’s Route – New Year’s Day, 2016

We set out for the Mt. Arrowsmith climb, looking forward to the snow-covered slopes and the sunny, warm temperatures that were forecast; however, we were not sure about the road conditions, and soon after turning off the highway we had our answer: the road was icy! We inched along, and even at snail-like speeds I found my truck, 4×4 with snow tires, sliding sideways down the road. We therefore opted to park at the Pass Main Junction, rather than driving up to the usual parking spot for the Judge’s Route, adding about 45 min. of walking to our approach.

The 12 of us set off about 9 a.m., and reached the spur road about 9:45. Last year there was no snow on the spur; not the case this year!

We reached the trailhead about 10:15 and set off for the summit, agreeing on a “turn-around time” of 1 p.m. The trail up through the trees was quite well-trodden, as I was well back in our group, and two others had gone up ahead of us. Mike and Chris, two friends of mine, had had chains for their truck and had driven up to the parking lot, getting a head start on the rest of us.

Not an over-abundance of snow in the trees, but enough that we didn’t need crampons.

Before long, we were out of the trees and admiring the views and relishing the sunshine!

It was about 12:30 when most of us we reached this spot (although Tom and Paul were up ahead), still about an hour from the top. I, as leader, was thinking of just having lunch here and then heading down, but Monica and Ruth were game to keep going, so I figured we might as well see how far we could get by 1 p.m. And then, when our turn-around time came, I figured we probably had until 2 p.m. before we had to turn around, and we might as well go until we met Tom and Paul anyway. So, we kept going, and were just minutes from the top before we met Tom and Paul descending. So of course we weren’t going to stop then, and I’m sure glad we didn’t. A glorious view!

Monica nearing the summit. 

Ah! Almost there!

Doesn’t get much better than this!

And then, just before 2 p.m., we headed down. 

The snow had really softened up in the afternoon sun, but we made good time, reaching the trailhead about 3:45, with daylight to spare!

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