Sunday, May 7, 2017

Getting Started At Grandjean

"Come hell or 'high water', we're doing Grandjean this year." - Deez.

Date: May 6-7, 2017.

Partners: Deez.

Objective: Get out there and take whatever the Mountain Gods give us.

Stats: 3.4 miles round trip. Strava - Day 1Day 2.

Gear notes: Rain gear.

Obligatory trailhead photo. 

A long and snowy winter had been followed up by a busy spring with unsettled weather. Other than trail running, its been hard to find the time to get into the mountains. Looking at the weather forecast for the slim window of time we had for this trip was less than encouraging. It read something like You're going to get rained on, - Thunderstorms likely, or something like that.

This early season trip is always a roll of the dice, so we decided to just go and figure it out along the way. It's not like we've never been rained on before. As usual, we left town around late afternoon for the two hour drive up. We drove through a big pocket of showers on the way to the trailhead, arriving about 5:30 to the nearby sound of thunder.

Heading south on the trail

While the weather looked bleak, the road in and the trail were in good shape. We hit the trail with our rain gear on, which is probably why it stopped raining and the sun came out, making it just a bit on the uncomfortably warm side while we walked.

The little unnamed creek that you'd normally walk though and hardly get your boots wet was running quite high. We actually had to find another crossing upstream.

Creek crossing. Photo: Deez.

This is usually no more than an easy hop over the creek. Photo: Deez.

Ah-ha! High runoff... Just as I suspected...

We figured we wouldn't get very far down the trail due to the late start and threat of rain showers, so we stopped at the same spot as last year. The tent went up quickly, but before that, the liquid libations went in the creek.

Keeping the beer cold. Photo: Deez.

It was the fairly standard hang out session with good sandwiches, cold drinks and not a drop of rain. The party continued well into the evening and the light from the 85% full moon provided an almost unreal tint to the landscape. The clouds even broke up enough to see a star or two while we swilled away and schemed future endeavors.

Drinks by the fire.

Fireside fun.


As the night wore on, we heard some more thunder in the distance; then a light but steady rain started to fall as we settled into the tent. It was never very heavy, but it seemed to last forever.

The next morning brought us low clouds and mild temps. It was noticeably humid but not raining. The calm of the morning was enjoyed while sipping coffee and taking in the creekside view.

Low clouds over Baron Creek.

After breaking camp, we examined the normal crossing of Baron Creek, which as you might guess, was also running quite high. It looked to be a long, cold and tricky Ford to say the least.

Baron creek. Photo: Deez.

Baron Creek. Photo: Deez.

The creeks are running high and the snow is still deep in the upper elevations, but at least we could see it for ourselves. We knew this was going to be a short trip, but in the end it was just a bit too short. It was a quick fix, but not enough to stave off the appetite for adventure for too long.

Happy trails!

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