Jefferson 5,716 FT
Castle Trail (Out&Back)
Saturday was my only day to hike this week. I slept out in order to get an early start. From the Castle trail head parking area I started my hike at 7:00. The weather was just starting to roll in from the west. The reports called for a mix of frozen precipitation. Keep to the old railroad trail. the trail is there on the left. I missed the trail at first and almost ended up in someones yard.
It was not precipitating at this point. I made quick time to the treeline. There was no snow accumulation at this time. After the treeline the trail becomes very difficult and in the coming days it will require traction of some sort. Steep inclines on large stone walls make it a slow go.
After the ridge turned toward the summit the winds became increasingly heavy. At times toward 30mph. I had a shell on with my goggles in order to see through the snow. I also had warm gloves for this as well. I recommend full winter layers from this point. The summit was harsh. It was around 11. I took a few pictures and went on my way. I had a beer but I waited until treeline to enjoy it.
The way back was slow. The rocks were slippery. There was not enough snow to warrant micro spikes. I went over the ridge and the weather greatly improved. Here I took down some layers and enjoyed my Smuttynose Old Brown Dog.
Toward the base the warmer temperatures changed the snow to rain. It was not very heavy. The whole trip took around 5 hours and was by no means easy. I did not see a single soul on the trails. This was a first for many months of hikes I have done. The trails were very lovely. This hike was the finish of my second round of the 48!
This time of year is very unpredictable so make sure you are ready for as much as possible. Bring good warm and water proof layers for the mixing precipitation. Hike smart winter is coming!