Lake George

Lake George
Lake George - from Tongue Mtn Range - 11/11/2011

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Slip Mountain and Bald Peak - Jay Mountain Wilderness Area - 1/18/14

 I little over a year ago Leesa and I were in the Jay Mountain Wilderness Area to hike Mount Fay and Carson Mountain from Seventy Road.  At that time, I had added Bald Peak and Slip Mountain to my future hike list.  They lie just west of Seventy Road and looked fantastic from Mount Fay.
Today we made it back to follow up.  The conditions were perfect in the woods for a nice bushwhack hike.  There was a crust of snow with an inch of fresh powder on top.  The crust was firm enough that we didn't break through too often, and when we did, the snow wasn't that deep.
We were quite surprised when we arrived at Seventy Road to find that a Jeep was already parked there and someone had already started snowshoeing exactly where we were headed!  What are the chances of that?  Rembember, this was a bushwhack hike.  
Seventy Road
We started out at 9:20 AM.  It was about 20 degrees, but it didn't feel like it.  I quickly removed my mid-weight shirt and hiked with a short sleeve shirt and shell.  It was also forecast to be cloudy with light snow, but we only saw partly sunny skies.  No problem there.
We followed the snowshoes tracks for about 10 minutes, until it became apparent that he was head south of Bald Peak.  We wanted to go north of Bald Peak, then hook around to summit from the west before continuing up just west of the ridge to Slip Mountain. 

Leesa with Seventy Mountain in the background 
We went west through the draw between Seventy Mountain and Bald Peak then turned southwest.  We arrived in a nice little cleft between Bald Peak and the Slip Mountain ridge.  We dropped our packs for a fun little scamper up the summit cone of Bald Peak.  It was a nice little 5 minute climb to the summit.  Very neat spot with great views.  We got a great look at Slip Mountain. 
Slip Mountain from Bald Peak
We spent quite a while on Bald Peak.  It's got a few places you can walk around to for different views.  I was really eyeing at Bluff Mountain to the northwest and wishing in was not on private land.  It looks spectacular with all it's open rock.  Leesa said it reminded her of some of the peaks on Acadia National Park.

The summit of Bald Peak
Looking NW from Bald Peak, Bluff Mountain is the right-most peak

Zoom view of Bluff Mountain (Quite nice yes?)

Mount Fay from Bald Peak

Leesa and Rev on the summit of Bald Peak with Slip Mountain behind
Panorama of Slip Mountain from Bald Peak
Slip Mountain from Bald Peak

 When we finally left Bald Peak, we headed southwest, stayed just right of the ridgeline.  While the ridgeline offers a couple nice viewpoints, it is thicker growth and much tougher walking.  We traversed the slope making our way through lots of light blowdown.  Eventually it was time to turn up the slope to hit the ridge for the final push to the summit.
As we reached the ridge, we once again came across the snowshoe tracks.  The tracks were only going up and not down, so I guessed the person was still ahead of us... perhaps on the summit.  Just as we crested the summit plateau, we saw an older man making his way back down.  I'll bet he was surprised to see us!  I told him we had seen his tracks at various points and figured we would see him here.  He continued his retreat and we took our last final steps to the summit.  I had to help Leesa and Rev and up on the rock at the summit.  There was no easy way to step up.
Once again we were rewarded with some fine views.  At this summit, we could see the Great Range in the distance.  We still had the sunshine in our faces and it was continuing to warm up.   

Zoom view of the Great Range from Slip Mountain 
We ate our lunch on the summit and of course took lots of pictures.  It was then time to go down.  We decided to just follow our tracks out.  We were a bit quicker on the way down since we had gravity on our side and se didn't have to stop and think about our course of direction.

Summit of Slip Mountain
We got back down to Seventy Road and walked the 3/4 mile back to where the snow plow had stopped and our car was parked.  It had warmed up to 37 degrees, but some clouds were now coming in.  It didn't matter, we had enjoyed another day in the sunshine.
Hike Stats:
Hike Distance:  6.4 miles
Hike Time:  5 hours
Total Vertical Gain: ~ 1800 feet

Our route (click image to enlarge)

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