Lucky for us (ha ha) we got some snow the night before, about 6-8” down low and maybe a foot up high. This led to issues of if we could park, but we noted the pull-off had been plowed out. I took the lead to start, and had an easy enough time of it for a while, giving it up on the section that diverts off the original Livermore Road, which I was sorely tempted to follow. All was well until we came to the section before the pass, which slabs a drainage and caused much slipping and swearing as we struggled through. Finally, we came to the pass, which was blocked by snow laden branches. Off to our right didn't look so great, but there was no better place to go, so in we went.
It started out in moderate woods, with some steeps, but very soon we were walking in open woods along the ridge, enjoying ourselves immensely. Any thicker stuff was easily avoided, but the breaking was hard as we traded off. Joe, who refused to lead following the drubbing I gave him last week, led for a good while. We slabbed around a false peak, and Greg took over for the remainder, which had to be tough. A few cloudy views here and there, and we soon arrived at the peak, rejoicing in the openness. The retreat followed the same path and was uneventful, although I was feeling pretty beat by the time we got to the car.
So this leads to part 2, the hike up to Lonesome Lake for the Fool Scouts Ball, my first. I was anxious to get moving, so I headed out, but at the parking area, Brian had arrived just as I was leaving (so I thought). I didn't realize until I had gone under the highway and was well into the southbound parking that I had forgot my tuxedo. Argh. I knew Brian would've caught up to me, but now we went out together, and he asked if he could take some weight off me. I had a ton of food, plus heavy gear and my refusal was done after about 300 yards. OK, that's at least better. I'd walk a short distance, stop, walk, stop, walk, stop. It was pretty miserable. I was deadly tired, and should've eaten better.
Walk 100 feet, stop, walk 100 feet, stop, etc. etc. At one point, if I hadn't been near the top, I would've said screw this. We met Chris(topher) and Chris(tine), and they offered to unload my tux and sleeping bag. I couldn't refuse at that point. We finally came to the top and I greatly enjoyed to easy walking from there and across the lake, despite a good breeze. We had a number of folks going down laughing, telling us to have a good time, and that things were well under way. Arriving at the hut, oh yeah, things were already hopping. I just wanted my damned pack off. In short order, the pack was gone, and I was enjoying a lovely porter from a keg that had been hauled and all was right. I met a bunch of folks I had only known online, and talked to some friends I haven't seen in a while. The food was superb, and I couldn't have had a better time. Thanks to all for doing this wonderful party every year!