Saturday, February 20, 2021
Start/end: Greeley Ponds XC Ski trailhead, since Greeley Ponds trailhead isn’t being plowed this year
Elevation gain: 3267′
After our quick hike up to Tecumseh, we drove over to the Greeley Ponds XC trailhead. We were able to get the one open space remaining (perhaps from some early morning hikers), and then headed out. We barebooted on the packed out trail for a bit before putting on our snowshoes out of respect for the ski trail. Two newbie snowshoers came up behind us and followed us until the trail got particularly steep, where they turned around. We struggled up the steep incline, and I was very glad for my snowshoes’ heel lifts; my hiking partner struggled with running-style snowshoes, since they didn’t give enough grip to prevent sliding backwards with every step. We eventually made the summit of Osceola, though we had to jump out of the way of two college bros aimlessly butt sledding down the steep trail while wearing crampons and carrying ice axes. From Osceola, the trip over to East Osceola was fairly short and relatively painless. The chimney bypass was a bit rough, with post holes and icy spots, but with some care, it was manageable. We poked our heads out at the East Osceola summit and then headed back the way we’d come.