We Welcomed Rose to a GiG Mountain Climb: in the Snow!
On a bluebird day with lots of wind, we welcomed Rose to the GiG. We all marveled at her matching outfit while talking about how we have hiked with mismatched mittens, mismatched gloves and even two different hiking boots. Mary S recounted how she took two different shoes on a trip to Atlanta; Katie related how her husband tried to climb Patrol Mountain in two left boots. But the real interesting tidbit happened at the end of the day--read on!
Christi led us on the Dump Out trail, one the GiG had never traveled, so we had a new experience on our climb of Mount Helena. We usually take the Prospect Shafts or Prairie trail and then take the 1906 down. We have also gone on the Hanging Draw and Powerline. The newbies to this area marveled at the fact that it is a city park, purchased by the Prickly Pear Land trust. Some of the land is BLM too. For Helenans, it is like our River's Edge Trail, well used and loved by the local strollers, bikers, hikers, dog walkers.
We decided that Yaktrax or ice cleats would be better than snowshoes, given the trail was well worn and snow not very deep; it was a great choice. We battled a bit of wind, but we were mostly protected in the trees and coulees on our way up. The day was warm, in the high 30s, so the wind wasn't too cool, especially on the going up part. As we climbed, the views kept getting better and better until we reached the top with 360-degree scenery! What sights we could see, looking down on Carroll College campus, Fort Harrison, the Cathedral and Last Chance Gulch, not to mention Mount Ascension, the Elkhorn Mountains and the Sleeping Giant.
After taking many pictures, we decided not to eat lunch on top due to the wind and instead head back to the picnic table, located about halfway back to the parking area. However, the table was out of the sun and not out of the wind, so we did have to bundle up, putting on extra layers. Our lunch was a very quick due to the cold, so we blew down the mountain, making it back to our cars just after 1 p.m.
Then, for one car, it was a quick stop at the Park Ave. Bakery; we decided we earned a cookie for the ride home. At this point, we also ducked into the bathroom at a brewery, where Jean discovered in the mirror that she had put on two very different earrings, proving that our day truly was one of mismatched items, all expect Rose, that is.
We arrived back home by 3 p.m. after our wonderful windy, but very sunny, day.