With a pending big snowstorm headed our way for tomorrow, I took the day off today and headed for the Seward Range to climb Emmons, Donaldson and Seward. The road from Coreys was still drivable all the way to the summer trailhead.
I arrived at 7 AM and there was one other car there. A man (Brian) was just preparing to head out for Donaldson and Emmons. We talked for a minute and then we both headed out.
I made the mistake of trying to ski the first part of the trail. It was an obvious mistake since there was only maybe 2 inches of snow on the ground. I didn't get far before ditching the skis. I so wanted to ski for awhile, but it wasn't to be.
Brian told me to go on ahead since my pace was faster than his. I made good progress in microspikes and switched to snowshoes at about 3500'. I was up on the ridge shortly after 10 AM. I stopped at Donaldson and enjoyed a nice view there. Visibility was good, and blue skies were beginning to show.
|The summit disc on Donaldson|
I spent the next 40 minutes going over to Emmons. The route felt much better to me in the winter than in the summer. I noticed that in addition to the summit disc, there is now a summit plaque (and on Seward as well). Don't know why Donaldson didn't get one.
|Long Lake from the trail to Emmons|
Once I reached Emmons, I had my first sandwich. Well I should clarify, I attempted to eat my sandwich, but my dog Rev got about 2/3 of it.
On the way back to Donaldson, I had to lift Rev over a couple exposed ice flows. She had no problem jumping off them on the downhill, but on the uphill, she needed a boost.
|Heading back to Donaldson|
Once back at Donaldson, I saw the other hiker (Brian) on the summit. We talked for a couple minutes, then he headed for Emmons and I headed for Seward. I didn't see him again. I got back to the Calkins Brook trail before he did.
|Seward from Donaldson|
As I made my way over to Seward, I noticed that nobody had been that way lately and I had to break trail. Donaldson and Emmons had already been broken out. The breaking trail wasn't that difficult. There was only perhaps 6 inches of snow on the trail.
|Seward and Seymour on the right|
The blue skies really came out as I headed for Seward. I also warmed up a bit. It was -5 degrees Fahrenheit when I started out. When I got back to the car it was +20.
|Heading up Seward. and the blue skis were out|
I ran into a longer ice flow on the trail to Seward and gave Rev some more help.
|The summit of Seward, and another new summit plaque|
At the summit I carefully guarded my sandwich and was able to eat the whole thing. We retraced our track back to the Calkins Brook Herd path and retreated back to the car by 3:45. My winter Sewards have been successfully completed.
|Blue sky and ice|
This trip took me about 8.5 hours as opposed to 9.5 hours when I did them in the summer with Leesa. The descents are faster in the winter, and I tend to stop for shorter amounts of time due to the colder temperatures.