I was stoked to get out for a solo daytrip up in the Duffey to explore the ridgeline from Steep Peak over to Windfall Peak on October 5. I love this time of year for catching the last of the summer feel in the alpine before the real snow starts.
I was on trail a little after 9:30am. A bit before Darkside Lake, head up into mature timber to the left of the avalanche slope for some easy bushwacking, then onto the steep meadows and the ridge below Steep Peak. On the way up, I kept too close to the avi path, and got in thicker 'schwackin than I should have, which killed some time.
Lake from above avi slope
Plan was to see if I could sidehill across the face of Steep Peak (to avoid unnecessary gain-loss), hit up Windfall, then summit Steep on the way back. I found a great contour line to ride around the summit, and came across this on the ground:
No other bones around - mtn goat?
The sidehilling worked - huzzah! And so I moved quickly on the ridge towards Windfall, seeing lots of up and downs along the way.
Ridge with Windfall in distance
To the right was a sweet looking lake in the valley - like other people that scope this lake, I am now also stoked to get in there to hang out sometime.
From about same spot, looking back towards Steep
The ridgewalk was super-supreme and beauty, but I had to high-tail it to get to the Windfall summit by turn-around time. Kept on truckin' following goat trails who, as well all know, always find the best way up and through terrain.
Finally after a few high-points, hit the summit at 2pm
High point summit rock (easier than Gandalf to tap)
Sweet views over to a little lake towards Blowdown area, and a clear view of the wikked ridgewalk from Gott Peak to Moomin Peak we did last September.
Moomin well worth the rambling
Views of Gotcha, Notgott in Blowdown area. You can make out Blowdown FSR on left
I got a decent view over to the Bible Group area (note Gideon on far left, St. Jacobs with the notch) where we had just spent 4 days in September. I spent about 20 minutes at the summit, then time to head back with the short October days.
Ridgewalk way back; Steep Peak where I'm heading on the right side
The ups and downs of the ridge went pretty quick, soon I was heading towards Steep
Back to Windfall
Steep Peak summit, I had sidehilled around halfway up on left ridge on way up
Steep Peak was summited at around 4pm, and offered nice views of Matier and Joffre, as well as a look back towards the ridgewalk.
The descent from Steep Peak was a little loose on the talus and took a bit more time than anticipated. Once down onto the steep meadows, it was quick going and I smartened up and headed further right into the older trees, where it was super chill bushwacking.
Got a nice view of Steep Peak once I hit the trail out around 5pm.
Now that snow's falling, I guess the ski touring folks'll be hitting this zone up, but this trip in Sept/Oct is recommended!
Thanks for reading,