Friday, March 15, 2019
Start/End: Greeley Pond Trailhead
Elevation gain/loss: 3094′
The weather today was in the 60s and sunny, so the trailhead was very sloppy and I wasn’t confident my car wouldn’t get stuck, so I parked on the shoulder of the Kanc and walked back to the trailhead. I put on snowshoes and rolled up my pants into shorts. I quickly took off my long sleeve shirt.Despite my snowshoes, I was still occasionally postholing up to my knees. All the snow bridges were in place, though some of them were getting melty in places. The snow was slippery, heavy, and wet, which made the uphill climbing extra technical. It was difficult to take breaks, and I ended up straining my right piriformis muscle in my hip, which is still causing issues 3 weeks later.I made the summit of East Osceola after some incredibly steep and very technical sidehill traversing on the edge of some decent drop-off. From there, the descent was steady and reasonable; the climb up around the chimney between the Osceolas was very slippery and technical. Once I made the Osceola summit, the way back down to the chimney was really challenging. For a good portion of it, I had to go down backwards, both for increased traction and for safety. That section had some substantial drop-offs that would be very bad news if I went over them. I made it to East Osceola without incident and then started the long steep descent. For some portions of it, I butt-slid, though safely stopping became the bigger issue very quickly. I made it back to my car an hour after sundown without turning on my headlamp, between the snow and the brilliant quarter moon shining in the sky.