McCredie Hot Springs / Kitson Ridge
Well, I had hoped to hike up part of the PCT for an overnight at the Rosary Lakes. When I got to the trailhead, however, I found that it is closed (no parking/tow away) from Nov 1 through Apr 30... All of the other parking in the area requires a Sno-Park pass. I find this a little offensive... Shouldn't this only apply to people with ski racks on their cars? Not to mention the fact that maint. of public lands is already payed for by tax dollars. Anyway, that trip was a bust, so I turned around an headed back from whence I came. I've camped on Kitson Ridge behind McCredie Hot Springs before, so I figured I'd try there instead. I wore myself out hiking up and down some trails a bit away from the hotsprings (the hotsprings itself is a day-use only area, even though there are some really nice camping spots there), but I couldn't find a decent spot. I was hoping to camp in snow anyway, so I decided to drive up the ridge in search of some. Made it up to 4000 feet or so before I found any. It was just a small patch filling a shallow at the bottom of a burned out hillside. 6" to 8" deep and tightly packed. There were some HUGE elk tracks and some other large tracks which I could not identify due to the condition of the snow (perhaps Cougar?).
I found a couple of appropriately spaced scorched, but living, fir trees on the perimeter of the snow patch. The ground was completely covered in poison ivy. I don't really react to the stuff, though, and thanks to the hammock, I don't have to touch the ground. Got to test some high-altitude modifications I made to my wood stove. All went well with dinner and there was plenty of standing deadwood for fuel. Plenty of usnea for tinder too. I got to weather test my Guide Gear 12x12 tarp with added tieouts. Worked great with light rain and gusts overnight. I really like this tarp. It was windy, so I closed the 'doors'.
Not a very eventful trip, but not a bad one either. I'm still looking forward to checking out the Rosary Lakes sometime soon.