We were super lucky to have incredible weather for March. Not only was it sitting right around 40 degrees at the base of the mountain, but the skies were blue and the visibility was fantastic. When we started around 9:00 am, the clouds were covering the peaks, but less than an hour later, the skies became more clear, and we could tell it was turning into a gorgeous day.
In the winter, the Glen Ellis parking lot is closed and you have to park on the side of the road. That makes this trail far less frequently traveled. On this Sunday, with some of the best weather you could ask for, we went on an entire hike without seeing a single person. This meant that the trail was not well traveled. It had looked as though 2 people had traveled it since the last snowfall. This left us with a couple boot holes to follow all the way up, but for the most part we were wading in about 14 inches of snow. We had only the occasional posthole which led for a fun experience. The conditions were such that snow shoes weren’t necessary, though some would prefer them in this situation. We didn’t need crampons at all as the deep snow provided plenty of traction.
Above treeline, the mountain top was mostly devoid of snow, allowing for rock hopping up to Glen Boulder and beyond. Once we reached the end of the bald parts on the glen boulder trail, and the trees started to come back on the way to Boot Spur, the snow drifts left us with about 6 feet of snow. We began to trek this, but without snowshoes, we were sinking to our waist nearly every step. The hike wouldn’t have been enjoyable to boot spur. Since it was so nice out, we spent a considerable amount of time on the open face of the mountain. This was definitely a rare treat for this time of year.
We even took the time to climb the precariously placed glen boulder, which only appears closer to falling as you get closer to it.
On the way down we had a blast. With steep fluffy sections we could sled down on our butts and we could run through powder on the other sections. Overall the trail conditions weren’t what most would consider ideal, but they made for making this a memorable and awesome hike.