Summit mailbox, looking south

Summit mailbox, looking south

After a warmer night a bit farther up out of the valley, I got an earlier start for Delano, this time with snowshoes. Though the side-trail to Delano was completely covered with snow, and had seen no recent traffic, I could easily follow it by looking for cut deadfall — it seems like this trail is still maintained. I finally lost it in the “Pothole,” a glacier cirque near treeline, but it had served its purpose. Admiring the cliffs to the north, I just kept heading for the highest thing I could see, climbing a snow-filled gully until I eventually reached Delano’s unimpressive summit.

There was a standard mailbox on top, but the register(s) were just a half-frozen mass of damp paper. In one of the outside entries, I was amused to find a party who had summited by snowmobile in March. The summit had a good view of the several glacial cirques on the east side of this part of the range, as well as a ski area and many large meadows to the southwest.

I went ahead and tagged the next two bumps to the east, finding a cairn on the second and highest. The next peak east was a lower, ugly thing with a road up it and radio towers on the summit so. Mistakenly thinking I was on Mount Brigham, and not wanting to walk the long, winding road from the next peak to the trailhead, I dropped down a chute to the base of the Pothole, where I picked up the approach trail. The return featured the standard unpleasantness below treeline, with much side-hilling (painful in snowshoes) and postholing.

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