Smoky Dome

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The tallest in the Soldier Mountains, Smoky Dome can be climbed on foot until ski season is in full swing.

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Gordy and I hadn't been on an adventure for some time, and if you ask him there is a reason. So I was mildly surprised when his reply to my invitation was "Whatever. I'm up for anything."

So I picked him up at 6:30 and we were off for Fairfield in the fog. We both assumed it would disperse before we got to Mountain Home, so imagine our surprise at having to stop and scrape off ice as we crossed Cat Creek summit. As we left the highway, we were still in dense fog, but by then we could tell it wasn't too thick.

We finally hit the sunshine on the road to Ear Creek corrals. And as we took our first break, it was all sunshine.

We didn't move real fast- we're both trying to get back into shape. I'm still recovering from my broken leg, he's been working in a gourmet food store. Different cause, same effect: old, overweight and short of breath. But that is only by our own standards. We made good time and were soon on snowshoes nearing 9000'

The valley was still in fog, and there were some high clouds rolling around the adjacent peaks. But for the most part, we remained in the sunshine. Low winds and awesome views greeted us when we finally gained the summit ridge.

We were on top just before 2pm, with a climbing time of about 3.5 hours for 3000'. Not bad (for old guys).

Although this climb was worthwhile in its own right, it was at least partly for reconnaissance of this ridge- its on my list as a high alpine ski traverse.

Stay tuned (after I get in better shape).

Mr. Natural Home | 2004 | Back to top of page | Questions :: e-mail to splattski