Hoping to squeeze in one more day of climbing before the weather turns really ugly for a couple of months, I headed out Mountain Loop Highway for an attempt at Sperry Peak. It isn’t an especially difficult or prominent peak, though I think that is exactly what I was looking for. Something straightforward and easy to retreat from if the weather turned sour on me.
It was excellent to arrive at the trailhead for Vesper peak and be the only one in sight. The actual trail , however, was far more difficult in the dark than I could have imagined. There is a lot more tree roots than you might realize during the day and it got especially difficult attempting to navigate the stream crossings. Either way I made it into the basin by the time it was getting light and just in time to start walking on the snow.
There was very little snow at first but as I worked my way up to Headlee pass the snow got steadily deeper and as the depth grew my plans for the day quickly began to shift. I went from “maybe vesper is a better goal for the day” to “ lets just see if I can make it to the lake” within the span of a few minutes. By the top of Headlee pass the conditions were approaching white out and the snow was approximately waist deep.
Looking Back Down Headlee Pass After Climbing Up Through The Narrow Gully
While I was able to make it to the lake I would only suggest going that far right now if you have the gear and skills to estimate avalanche danger. Otherwise, just wait until spring when you will have an opportunity at an excellent glissade is some far more preferable weather.
Getting Ready to Start The Climbing
Last Patch of Trees Before The Headlee Pass Climb
Vesper Lake Outlet Stream. I could Barely Make Out The Lake. Distance Seemed Best