Grantus this Solstice

Granite Solstice
puzzlr photo used with permission, please respect all copyrights

We can haz summer now, pleeeeze?!  Here’s how puzzlr re-imagined it: Sunny Solstice.  If only the weather was as easy to change as the picture!  Blarg.  The good news is we have a new TNABer and she not only hauled sausage, cheese, and crackers (all on a tray!), and wine up to Granite’s miserable summit, she wrote a trip report!  Thanks, Pam, and please, oh please, come again. 🙂

Trail details, NOAA weather, driving directions, maps and past trip reports can be found here: Granite Mountain.

Special Thanks to Guest Trip Reporter Pam:

Winter Solstice,  I mean summer solstice hike up Granite Mountain. This was my first adventure with TNAB’ers, the thought of a solstice celebration on the peak was just the carrot I needed to go. I’d heard of past celebrations with food and libations flowing.

Looking at the weather report early in the week, I was wondering if this would be a go, rain 70% chance but there was still hope for a possible clearing.  As Thursday began that percentage grew to 100% in the afternoon. but our packs were packed and there were places to go, a little rain can never hurt (its liquid sunshine in Seattle).

At the trailhead with rain gear on, the adventure began heading up the main trail through the trees and switch backs. The rain adds a special ambiance to the hike today, it wasn’t so bad in the trees.

Emerging from the tree cover onto the open slope above, rain and wind began to pelt us and it was time to put on another layer. As we hiked higher and hit the snowline  I found myself adding more (gloves/hat, what month is this?). From this point, we took the ridge straight to the summit.  The ridge route is melting with a couple of us plunging through the snow near the rocks.

On the summit it was time to quickly wrap ourselves in any dry clothing and warmth as the wind and rain continued to blow (that weather report was accurate, chance of rain 100%….100% of the time).  The summit was just incredible!, incredibly cold, incredibly wet, incredibly cloudy.  My vision of this great summer solstice celebration on the summit (sunshine, swimwear, cocktails with umbrellas…..) was quickly diminished by the cold wet wintery scene. We quickly shared in some bubbly, peppermint schnapps, wine, cheese platter and a few other snacks with fellow hikers.  Then before it began, we were packing up and heading back down before hypothermia set in.

With the celebration cut short, there was a new bright light at the end of the tunnel as we talked about continuing the celebration back at the Pour House on the way down. This definitely got me moving more quickly down the mountain.

The trail back seemed long as the night sky began setting in and continued to shower us with liquid sunshine. Back at the cars, we rang out the wet layers and put on some dry then headed off to the Pour house to celebrate a successful adventure and welcome in summer.

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