I got out on an easy solo hike today. It’s been just over a year to the day since I was exploring Mount Waterman last and, well, that’s far too long for this fun and beautiful mountain.
I parked my car at the Mount Waterman trailhead, which is just south/west of Buckhorn camp. I whipped out the trekking poles and set out, following the easily graded and well-maintained trail along its gentle ups and downs. After a few minutes the trail crossed a dirt road… I continued straight on the trail and followed it around the east side of the mountain, the around to the south side. After 2.2 miles, I reached the junction with the Twin Peaks cutoff. Another day, Twin Peaks, another day. I continued right on the trail and went another half to 3/4 mile up to the splinter trail for the summit. For whatever reason, I continued straight (not left for the splinter trail). If this is your first time up there, go left when you see that split. You’ll know what I mean when you see it. But anywho, I continued straight and then travelled south on flat summit to find the summit block. Normally the USGS marker is hard to find, but there is now a bit of a cairn/marker on the boulders (see included images). I hung out for a couple minutes on the summit boulders eating some almonds. After that, I travelled north on the summit to where the mountain begins to drop off… and then I traveled east. Sure enough, I hit the Mount Waterman maintenance road and took that down 3 miles back to the trailhead.
All in all, a great day and a really nice hike. It seems like my fatigue is still around but my pulled muscle from last week seems much better. The black flies were nasty in a few parts, but most of the hike was bug free. Also, there was only one couple on the mountain while I was up there. Solitude is beautiful!
Total Distance: 6.73 miles (could have been less if I hadn’t explored the summit area)
Elevation Gain: 1,427 feet
Temperature: low 80’s pretty much the whole way.
Terrain: Well marked trail to the summit area. Trail gets a bit lost at the summit because of all of the false summits and the flat summit area. Dirt road on the way down.
Shaded/exposed:40% shaded, 60% exposed
Calories burned: 1,726
Estimate of calories consumed: 400
Water consumed: 1.5 liters
Electrolyte beverage consumed: 5 oz of Hammer Heed/Perpetuem/Crystal Lite
Food consumed: 1 Hammer Gel, a few almonds
Backpack: Salomon XAPro 20
Shoes: Keen Voyageur Mids
Trekking Poles: Black Diamond Contour Elliptical
Gear review: Two quick product reviews: First off, Coleman Skin Smart. It didn’t work well at all. The flies feasted on me at times and would attack within seconds of reapplication of this stuff. No good. Also, the Salomon XA Pro 20 pack is pretty poor and I’m probably just going to give it away in the future. The chest strap rides up to below my chin, even when I wear the pack higher than normal (like 4 inches above my hips!). Also, it really isn’t a comfortable pack, even for an ultralight. 0/5 stars.