Jackson-Webster Trail, 5 miles roundtrip, 2150 feet of elevation gain.
This was supposed to be a fast and easy hike - we usually knock off this peak in three hours or less. Both girls have a ton of schoolwork to finish over the next couple of weeks before they leave with their dad for a pre-Thanksgiving vacation, so this week's hike and next week's hike were/are supposed to be easy-speedy. We knew there would be ice on the trails, since we keep up with current trail condition reports on various social media sites, but we figured we'd wear traction and be fine. Unfortunately, there wasn't enough ice to warrant wearing traction...yet there was sufficient ice to slow us down tremendously. It's that frustrating in-between season right now.
Alex's solo adventures are on hiatus until late spring. I am a strong supporter of hikers going solo once they have the appropriate navigation and safety skills under their belts (Alex has these skills), but I am not a fan of solo hiking during winter or almost-winter. That sentiment is strictly for me and my children -- I know of many hikers who solo in winter and I do not feel that makes them negligent. The risk factor with solo hiking during winter skyrockets though, and it is something I am not comfortable with when it comes to me or mine. However, for any of you reading this who are skilled solo winter trekker -- hike your own hike, have fun, and stay safe.
Our hike began easily enough...though I was noticeably slower on the first section than I should have been, thanks to my recent consumption of far too much Halloween candy.
Here comes the ice...there, so hiking becomes tricky, but not there enough to wear microspikes without smashing the spikes into rocks.
We averaged a mile an hour for our ascent, which for us is pathetic, but oh well, safety first. Finally, we reached the section near the top where you can see the summit.
We climbed up the ledge (too busy watching my step to take photos, sorry!) and were immediately greeted by the resident gray jays.
The sun was out and the scenery was gorgeous! It felt warm up there; we could linger without getting cold.
|I love this shot|
Jackson's summit, with the southern Presis and Washington in the distance...
The girls on Jackson...
The girls plus gray jays on Jackson...
We stayed on the summit far longer than we had intended. It was such a gorgeous day, and it was warm up there, so we just didn't want to leave. We finally made ourselves (carefully) descend and ended up getting back to the car two hours later than we had planned. Oh well. With hard work, both girls finished all the schoolwork they had to do for the day anyway, so it all worked out.
Hope everyone is enjoying the season of almost-winter.