Thursday, June 2, 2011
No Name / Bristlecone Trail - 6/2/11
What a blast! Today's hike around the No Name / Bristlecone Loop was fun for sixteen hikers with Don the King in charge! The group was in a playful mood from the start as we headed into the mountains above the ski slopes at the end of Lee Canyon Highway. We chattered our way up the beginning of the Bristlecone Trail then turned onto No Name at the switchback. Don led us up the steep slope crossing several snow patches to the summit. So far, only one person slid on the snow!
We reached the summit, took a small break, then headed into the beautiful old bristlecone forest that lives on the ridge above the Bristlecone Trail below. One old tree beckoned to four hikers that couldn't resist a climb up and a photo. Don stood by patiently as the four playful hikers climbed back down and we went on our way. Looking back from this portion of the trail gives the hiker a crisp view of the back side of Mt. Charleston. There is more snow in the Spring Mountains than has been in recent years and we were about to experience it full force!
We turned right at the Bonanza Trail junction and were immediately faced with a snow covered trail. Don wasn't fazed. Onward! ... Well, suffice it to say that pretty much all of the switchback area of Bonanza Trail down to the Bristlecone Trail junction presented constant snow obstacles. At first, the sixteen of us were leery of the challenge. We tried hard to avoid the snow by dipping down or climbing above the trail. When necessary, we would tip toe through it. Still, there were a few more slides on the icy snow.
However, ... by the end of the challenge, we were all giving up on hiking and simply decided to slide down on the seat of our pants ... er, or shorts. Sliking! What fun! We were having so much fun that we kind of lost Don for a while who was happily hiking down a section that had no snow obstacles. Nevertheless, we all met up at the Bristlecone junction and took another small break. We turned right and began our return on the Bristlecone Trail.
The Bristlecone Trail had a few snow covered sections as well but, by then, we were experts! Too soon, we were back at the cars on a beautiful windless day in the Spring Mountains.