2.5 (Alpine 3.5)
Although this outlier of Mount McDougall,
named by Bob Spirko as “Little McDougall”, was not my intended destination for the day it nevertheless served
as a satisfactory summit for an easy alpine climb in late January. My route followed
the Evan Thomas Trail to the drainage south of Little McDougal then at a cairn up diagonally to the ridge on a faint trail
that eventually dissipated under snow cover. The ridge to the summit pyramid
is covered in large shaky talus. In fact the summit register revealed that a
rescue was preformed near the peak due to a sprained ankle. The talus, covered
in a layer of snow and verglas was a dicey proposition. Nevertheless I prevailed
and then had to contend with the wind swept summit bump that was covered in extremely hard schnice. I only had walking crampons with me and the ice would not take my ice axe.
So mindful of the run-out I used French technique up and down the bump. Although
not very steep, the condition of the ice rendered this a fairly risky exercise. All
in all, given the verglas, talus, ice and temperature, this trip was not well suited to a solo effort.
The talus on ascent. The weather would soon deteriorate.
Looking back as I leave tree line.
Approaching the summit bump.
At the summit with the weather about to change.
A telephoto shot of the North face of Little McDougal taken from Old Baldy a month later.