If I want to count the blessings I would say that I found a new trail head and confirmed the Zig Zag trail (it starts as the Hall Creek Trail) but that’s about it.
My plan was to hike to Garcia Road and from there up to a logging road that winds around back and then to the summit of the mountain (unnamed so far, I believe) the Zig Zag trail approaches.
But I got off on the wrong path immediately; ran into a dam and had to back track; wound up on a semi-busy road in the area and back-tracked again; found Hall Creek trail and followed it up to Iron Horse/John Wayne, confirming it was in fact the start of Zig Zag; and then headed east on Iron Horse.
I made it to Garcia, started up the logging road but hit a massive blowdown. I couldn’t see very far beyond it but it looked like there was a long area of blocked trail. So I turned around and went back.
I would add it was about 30 degrees with a steady 35-50 mph (estimate) wind much of the way. It was coming from the northeast and walking east was tough, into the wind. It was almost like hiking a steep grade.
I lost one of my ice trekkers and going down Hall Creek I had my snowshoes on and that was more or less a disaster. I came close to sliding into the creek.
It took me 30 minutes to do the last .2 mile because every single step had to be planned. I slipped several times and purposely took a couple of sections sliding on my butt.
I do not recommend this trail without major traction devices. Snowshoes sucked, the trail was so narrow I had to maneuver just to move in some places.
Anyway, here is a link to a visualization:
Weather permitting I will be trying this one again, with my soon-to-be-new ice trekkers next week, weather permitting. Just under 7 miles and about 3.5 hours. Not what I would call a successful hike but the weather was glorious and let’s not forget the views.
Update: After thinking this over for a few hours I am a bit less bummed about my failure today. For one thing, I was alone on a snow-covered mountain, breaking trail steeply uphill on a very windy day with blowdowns (trees blown down across the trail) all over the place. Had anything happened, I would simply have frozen up there. Anyway, after looking at maps and Google Earth of the area, it is clear that, in better conditions, this will be a marvelous hike. Next week is an overly aggressive goal, but when the snow is gone this one will rock.