Kelly Mountain

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In an attempt to escape the snow for a day, we hike Kelly Mountain.

Note: click images to see a larger version in a new window

It looked like we had a spectacular day ahead of us, but instead of skiing, Dave wanted to go for a hike. Okay, we can do that. Scott had hiked up Kelly Mountain a week or so ago and reported that A) he made it and B) there wasn't much snow.

So it was with a little trepidation that we parked at the Manning Crevice bridge IN SNOW!

Before leaving home we had decided to just turn around if we needed snowshoes. But we were headed to that sunny ridge over there. We can at least walk that far...

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We were being watched.

The theme for today, other than the snow, seemed to be wildlife.

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Those suckers got some big feet!

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More wildlife.

Click for the bigger picture. They look like they are doing pretty well.

We tried not to bother them, which included putting youngster Dakota on a leash. Poor puppy.

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Going up!

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Up there. And let me say right now, that is not the top.

But at least there was some dirt showing. Reassuring dirt.

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Looking back down at our progress so far.

It was a little slippery, but now we were on sort of a trail and moving well.

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Did I mention it is a little steep?

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We're headed up there. But that is still not the top.

About here we stopped for a late lunch.

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Then, more up. This is looking down into the canyon, with a few team members lower down on the trail. Trailhead

We had tried to avoid the sheep, but they were paralleling our progress.

Note that this is zoomed way in- they were about half a mile distant.

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Finally up on the ridge proper. This is called 'terrain staring.'

Too bad the weather wasn't better.

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Dave memorializing with the new toy.

Patrick Butte in the distance, right of center.

You might note the steps are looking a little deeper. "We can turn around if you want" fell on deaf ears.

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Dave pointing out one of the lookout piers.

If you visit the report from last year (link at the top of the page) there is a picture of Art standing on this thingy.

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And now, leading us off to the actual highpoint...and temporarily on top of the snow.

From here, it's not far to the real summit, but we were going in over our knees. That tends to slow progress somewhat.

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Climbing the summit pinnacle. Tower. Rock. Bump. Whatever..... Trailhead

Craig glowing on the summit.

There's not a lot of room, so no group shot.

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Did someone mention postholes?

That's the summit on the left.

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We were running late, but it was hard to leave such views. Sunshine. Warmth.

Uh oh- warm sunshine on snow? This could be interesting....

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But wait- more distractions. The puppies were staring off into space.

No, those are elk!

There were perhaps ten animals across a ravine from our ridge. Beautiful, in a stunning setting.

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Looking down the other side of our ridge, we all made slightly envious and moribund jokes about sleds. Trailhead
Plunge, slip, and slide as the sun moves its way across the sky. Trailhead

We eventually made it down to terra firma again, no major injuries, just in time to be plunged into cold canyon shade for our saunter back to the celebratory cervezas.

Don't miss Dave's report at davefaitlemonde.com

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