Had thought about heading up to the Kitty yesterday, where they reportedly got 18" of total accumulation from the last two storms, but bailed on account of the hoilday weekend, and desire to drive less distance. So up to Cardigan I went (tried to recruit tig, but he was "not interested"!). Happened to run into astrotech in the parking lot, he and his friend Ted having just done the Duke's. Snowshowing up, there was a good 5" on top of an ice base. Coverage was good, and the trail was not very tracked up. Ran into two other parties, both on their way down. Cruised up to the Firescrew summit to take in the views. Found nice pockets of pow on the snowfields and had a nice run down the Duke's. Down low, it was a bit crusty on top, but the previous parties had chopped it up pretty good for me. Some pics:
The trail heading up to the Firescrew ridge/summit:
The obligatory long-arm shot:
Looking across to the Mt. Cardigan summit and firewatch tower:
Looking the opposite way, from whence I came:
The Firescrew summit cairn:
A beautiful day to be out. Lots of sun, relative solitude, and good snow conditions. The Duke's doesn't present much of a challenge on the descent, but it is quite a worthwhile outing. The granite-topped summit and ridge and the panoramic views from on high are well worth the trip and the effort. I'm really fond of the whole Cardigan scene.