Amazing conditions for this time of year. Tessa and I were surprised at how dry the trail was. The only snow and ice we encountered was in one of the four drainages which intersect the upper part of the trail.
This is in stark contrast to two years ago when the trail was still snowbound on May 9.
Tessa can usually count on having a drink of water in at least two places along the trail, but this year there was no water running in the usual places.
We hiked the most popular section of the trail, namely the middle part including the east and west connectors. If you start at Quarry Lake, this is about a 7K loop. When you’re on the upper part of the trail, you have the option of continuing east to Three Sisters creek or west to Riders of Rohan.
We hiked a short distance up from the east connector on the eastern end of the trail to get a photo of the ice flow on Ship’s Prow creek.
The ice flow is as large as I’ve ever seen it, but you can get around it by detouring through the creek bed over an obstacle course of deadfall and rocks.
For anyone interested in the hike up to Grassi Knob, this ice flow is where you exit the Highline trail and ascend the steep bank on the east side of the creek. The route to Grassi knob requires some hiking in the creek bed, and I expect it’s almost impassable because of ice. If anyone’s done it, I’d be curious to know how it was. I’ve previously written about the hike to Grassi Knob Grassi Knob North approach and Rows and flows of angel hair. At this time of year, it’s probably better to take the eastern approach.