|White Baldy with the White Pine dam visible in the foreground|
So I thought it was about time I went back there. Spotty foul weather was predicted, so I went prepared for the worst. The trailhead is up Little Cottonwood Canyon, just a bit past the Tanner Flat camping area. The turnoff comes up right after a blind corner and I missed it like I have several times. I saw it though and went up the road to where I could make a U-turn and headed back. The sign at the trailhead says that White Pine is four miles, but I have seen various trip reports saying that the mileage is wrong and that it's a bit more than that--more like about nine miles round trip. I started hiking at 7:36 and it was lightly sprinkling. I kept my camera in my pack in a zip lock bag. I took a picture that I posted on Facebook with my phone. After a while the rain stopped so I took out the camera and took some shots, but then the rain started again so I tucked it inside my rain jacket which I was wearing. I probably looked like a guy with a tumor on my chest, but I didn't want to ruin my camera, nor did I yet want to put it in my pack.
|Familiar stream at the location where the trail splits, one going|
to Red Pine, one going to White pine.
|It was kind of dark and drizzly on the early part of the trail.|
|View into the northern side of Little Cottonwood Canyon|
|Looking down. Up ahead of me, the snow was coming down so|
fiercely that I had to put my camera away.
So that's what I did. But there was no fork. I got down a ways and the snow had lightened up a bit and I could see the guy I was looking for walking across the dam. At that point, I was too tired to go back up and get to the lake. On my way back down I was just taking my time. My hands had gotten cold--my right one a bit numb--so I put on my gloves (someone on one of the forums had wished they had gloves, so I had thrown them in my pack, just in case). I had a very hard time getting them on my cold, wet hands though. Kind of like taking wet clothes off--assistance would be my preferred choice.
|Even as winter approaches, the fall offers great spots of beauty.|
Red Pine was far more picturesque. He also told me that I could have cut across, and saved that long switchback, but at the time with all the snow, I wasn't sure where the dam was. Not until I was a bit lower and looked up and saw him up there and I was too tired to go back up, let alone climb up the chutes I'd have to climb if I cut across without taking the trail.
|These flowers were still hanging on at over 8700 feet.|
So I hiked about 7-8 miles, didn't quite make it to the lake, but felt the thin line of how close you can get to danger if you aren't prepared for the conditions. Thankfully I was. I had watched earlier as a couple went up the trail before me, probably to Red Pine because I never saw them coming down, and the guy was dressed in shorts and they both had light jackets.
Anyway, it was a great adventure and I learned some things and had a great time. What more could I ask (well, other than having someone else along)?