Comanche, Spring, Venable

Comanche Lake valley

Today was another short, cold, windy day, but at least there was no smoke. Rather than coming back for the rest of the peaks around Hermit Creek, I did a nice loop out of the Comanche-Venable trailhead, tagging Comanche, Spring, and Venable peaks. Once again, I was impressed by the thorough network of well-maintained and generally well-signed trails on both sides of the range. This would be a great area for trail running.

I started out up the Comanche trail. There was a bit of snow in the trees partway up, but because the trail stays on south-facing slopes higher up, it was almost snow-free to the ridge. There, I was greeted by fierce, eyeball-freezing wind from the west. I made my way south to tag Comanche, then hid on its east face to thaw the right side of my face. This face, like the northeast face of Spring, holds a lot of snow, and looks like it might have some good moderate snow or ice lines around this time of year.

Returning to the saddle, I was too chilled and miserable to go on, even wearing all my layers, so I found a sheltered sunny spot to wait for the day to warm up. It never got truly warm, but it was at least bearable, and I had a tailwind rather than a frozen left eyeball as I left the trail to tag Spring and Venable. I dropped down Venable’s northeast ridge, catching my trail again above its intersection with the Venable Pass trail. Had I followed the trail, I would have cut improbably across Venable’s steep east face on a ledge.

From the junction, it was mostly a trail run back to the parking lot. I saw other hikers for a change, and stopped briefly to check out Venable Falls, but mostly just made a beeline for the tuna.

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