- Date Hiked: January 17, 2005
- Miles Hiked: 3.2
- Elevation Gain: 1,978'
- Hiking Partner(s): Mark Samorski
- After doing a bit of research, I've determined that I have likely
climbed most of the 14ers that can be done in a single winter day.
There are several with reasonable statistics, but then trailhead access
becomes an issue. If I want to do anymore 14ers in the winter
without repeating ones already climbed, I'll have to commit more time to
the trips. Kingston Peak was plan "B" after determining
that I could only get within 4 miles of the Mount Belford
trailhead. As with 2004, I started the new year's hiking season
off on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
- Considering the conditions I hiked in, I'm fairly certain that I
probably couldn't have gone much more than 3,000' for the entire day, so
I guess I'll have to take what I can get. Kingston Peak is nothing
spectacular, but at least I got out and made a summit. Fox
Mountain is a really weak peak to add to my list, but it is in several
guide books, and it is a named peak that required an additional 231'
from St. Mary's Lake. Anyway, I think I'll have to start
researching some 13ers or other peaks with better accessibility if I
want to hike in the winter and climb different mountains.
- When I reached the trailhead, there was only one other vehicle
present. This was surprising given the holiday and the area's
popularity. I strapped my snowshoes to my pack and headed up to
the lake. This didn't take long and I saw the other individual
heading up the glacier. I could tell conditions up higher were
much worse, so I stopped and added a layer. By the time I was
dressed, Mark was heading back down. I knew the wind was blowing
hard and visibility was limited, but I started up regardless.
- When I reached him, we introduced each other and he changed his mind
and decided to go back up with me. The wind was blowing strong
down the glacier and the snow was very wind packed. Snowshoes were
not required, but I carried them along with a lot of other gear I didn't
need. I figured Kingston wasn't that far and I would use this more
as a training opportunity. When we reached the top of the glacier,
Mark was complaining about a very cold face and decided to turn
around. He pointed me in the right direction since he was more
familiar with the area, and when I indicated I was going to continue, he
changed his mind.
- As we turned toward Kingston, we now had a cross wind which helped a
little. We worked our way across the frozen tundra and finally
made the summit. We hid behind a rock shelter for about five
minutes before deciding we better get back down. Of course the
descent was much easier going down and with the wind to our back most of
the way. When we reached the lake, I told Mark I wanted to
scramble to the top of Fox Mountain at which point we bid farewell.
- Although not far, the scramble to Fox was fun with a short section of
class 3 towards the top. The wind wasn't nearly as strong now, so
I removed the layer I had previously put on and enjoyed what views I had
for about ten minutes. As I mentioned earlier, this wasn't a great
hike, but at least I got an ok workout in with my first hike of 2005.
- Click here
to view a 2D
map of the area where this hike is located.