Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Postholing on Sweeney Peak

Sweeney Peak

From the crest of Sweeney ridge, you can see into drainages very rarely traveled because they have no trail: North to One Horse Creek Drainage and South to the South Fork of Sweeney Creek.

Pyramid Buttes

The mountains are big and inspiring, and I wonder if they'd be worth the bushwhack, or at least skiing up in winter when the snow covers some of the brush.

Little St. Joe and St. Joe

The Sweeney trail starts up high, the most challenging part of the trip was holding on while the Mighty Honda (Accord) sweated the steep narrow bits beyond the sign that read "Trucks with trailers not recommended beyond this point."

Bass Creek Spires

We followed a good trail up through the forest with tantalizing glimpses to the South of snowy, craggy ridges.  Just past the apex of the trail we stepped over a small stream and headed North to a saddle between two small bumps on the ridge and West up the ridge to Sweeney.

We followed the ridge and a pretty good boot track up.  The snow starts piling up over boot height just beyond a minor peak in the ridge at about 8500'.  There is a bit of crust and consolidation, and the snow pack at around 9,000' is about 2 feet deep - just about knee height.

I might bring snowshoes next weekend unless the weather turns and we get enough snow to cover more rocks.  We stopped shy of the summit - I'll say it's because dense clouds and snow moved in, but really it's because we got tired of punching through snow to the rocks below.  Click here to view and print our map.


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