Fadgen's Adventures

Fadgen's Adventures
Green Creek Lake

Saturday, March 17, 2012

The Peak ( 太平山 ) Hong Kong

Since I was stuck in Hong Kong for the weekend with nothing much planned, I decided that I would scale the highest peak on Hong Kong Island proper.  Locally known as "The Peak", I wanted to forgo the nomal mode of travel by taking the "The Tram" and hike the peak on foot. Besides the ticket line for the tram was way too long.

I checked the avalanche report (after all it is winter) and with reported low avy conditions I set off alone.

The peak in the mist.
The first step was getting across the bay, and since canoeing was out I took the Star Ferry.

Crossing the bay
Once across the bay, I was in a land of tall trees and many, many people.

The peak seen through the trees
It took me a while, but after winding through the trees I eventually found the trail head.

Trail head
The trail initially wound up the mountain with sustained class 2 climbing.

Class 2 section
I followed the trail cairns as I made my way up above the tall trees.

Cairns seen along the way(click to open larger view)

More class 2 climbing
Once out of the tall trees I came across many beautiful creek crossings and the trail turned from class 2 into class 3 scrambling.
Creek crossing

Class 3 section
As I struggled with my route finding in the 70 degree/90% humidity weather, I wound up the side of the mountain on slippery concrete paths and eventually found myself on the summit ridge.  The objective became a little clearer.

Summit in view (left peak)
Finally, after 2.5 hours of wandering through tall trees, numerous creek crossings, and sustained class 2 climbing I had reached the summit! Well as close to it as I could get - the actual high point was fenced to keep the riff-raff out.

Summit Splattski
And enjoyed some phenomenal views:

I was pretty beat after the climb, so I took the more normal mode of transportation down the mountain to the appointed meeting place for lunch.

Typical mode of transportation

Lunch - Tom Yum soup at Good Luck Thai

A look back at the peak on the boat ride home.

Trip stats:
Elevation gain: 1800' (sea level to summit)
Distance: Unknown - since GPS wasn't working
Time: 2.5 hours from bay to summit with another 2 hours for lunch and liquid refreshments

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Backcountry Skiing at Brundage Mountain

Last week's weather had been kind to the Idaho mountains by dumping a foot of new snow.  Knowing that it was going to get warm this weekend I figured skiing farther north up by McCall might be our best bet.  With this in mind I sent John Platt an email for beta on a place he had skied a few weeks prior - Sargeants http://www.splattski.com/2012/brundage/index.html

Turns out in addition to providing a map to the area John agreed to join us with an old friend of his. 

Tamara, Dylan and I met up a John's place in McCall and after meeting his old friend John Beckman (Bird) we made the short drive to Brundage Ski resort - our take off point.

The weather forecast I had remembered from a few days back had mentioned sun, but we were graced with lightly falling snow with little wind.  Not great for photos, but excellent for skiing!

The initial skinning took us out Goose Creek Road, which is essentially a snowmobile race track.  While skinning up the road we all got to meet Bird.  Luckily we were only on the snow covered road for a little over a mile before we peeled off and headed up the mountain.
Dylan was feeling it this morning so we allowed him to break trail through the new snow.

Dylan leading the troops
As we progressed further up the mountain I was getting pretty excited.  We were moving from one open glade to another. 

In a couple of hours we reached the summit of Brundage Mountain at 7803 feet and the snow still hadn't let up.  We quickly (well relatively quickly) removed our skins, had a quick snack, and headed down.

The snow was silky smooth powder and it was hard for me to keep the Woo-Hoos! from my lips.  We skipped from open glade to open glade down for a run of approximately 1000 feet!

John Platt showing his tele form
Bird showing his tele form
And Dylan showing his tele form
After some great conversation and lunch we figured we needed one more lap.  So we packed back up and started up again.  It had gotten a little warmer as the day progressed and we were enveloped in more of a cloud of mist rather than snow.  Once again, Dylan took the lead as we progressed upward. 

Into the mist we go
We again march up to the summit and headed back down.  Since it had warmed up a bit the silky powder was a little thicker but excellent none the less.
John (me) getting some turns in
By the time we had reached our lunch spot again everyone was smiling.

We debated heading up for another lap, but it was a little after 2PM, and Dylan had plans that night. So we decided to call it a day.  John lead us through some powder stashes as we made our way back to the snowmobile race track.  From there it was a short 15 minutes or so cruise back to the car.

Another excellent day in the snow!

Here is a short video of the trip:

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A team of adventurers consisting of John, Tamara, Taylor, Dylan, and Shadow Fadgen