Distance: 16.8 mi.
Elevation Gain: 8,100 ft.
After a failed attempt up Mount Maude earlier in the year, we wanted to make a final effort for the year in late October. We started hiking at 10:30 AM. This time we started up the Phelps Creek Trail, past Leroy Basin, and then turned right (southeast) toward Ice Lakes, across several talus fields. It began to snow at about this time, our first snowfall of the year. There were some larches, but they were past their prime. We followed a climber’s trail left (northeast) to the south ridge of Maude, and then continued east in the fog to camp at Ice Lakes. This brief downhill section was pretty steep and slippery with the snow and required sure footing. We climbed 5,000 ft total on day one, over 7 miles. We finished the day at 4:30 PM.
The Ice Lakes campsite was very beautiful, and we woke to find a light coating of snow all around us. It was a cloudy and windy day; we got started hiking a bit after 8 AM.
We followed a booth path to the west and then north toward the summit of Maude. We had to climb a steep scree slope here, but there was a nice ramp to follow and luckily the snow wasn’t causing us too much trouble.
When we reached the final ridge to Maude, it was uber windy. Luckily Craig had brought his warmest puffy from Feathered Friends, and I was happy to borrow its hood for the chilly ascent. There was some 2nd class scrambling along the ridge but nothing too intense (which was good because I couldn’t feel my fingers or toes).
We reached the summit just before 10 AM, and spent just a short while on top. We returned to our campsite at 11 AM, where we packed up and had lunch before continuing. We reversed our route from the previous day and reached the top of the ridge again at 12:30, then completed our hike at 3:30.
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Recommended brew: Dru Bru Alt (German Copper Ale)
- Backpacking tent
- Sleeping pad
- Trail runners
- Trekking poles
- Water drops/filter
- Winter sleeping bag