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Old 03-14-2019, 06:06 PM   #1
Banjoe's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 89
Pharaoh Paradise

So glad someone else picked the weekend to renew our winter trip to Pharaoh after missing a couple years. I'd have had us up there this weekend in the rain and warm temps instead of perfect weather and excellent skiing and snowshoeing. For all the complaints about how crowded Pharaoh can be, I was the only one on the lake Thursday night and only one other lean-to had people Saturday. I was pretty surprised no one else was on top of Pharaoh on Saturday in what I considered perfect conditions.
I got in Thursday afternoon and made it to the beaver pond before dark for a nice view of Pharaoh with some color after the sunset. It had been about 10 years since I climbed it so I was looking forward to going up either Friday or Saturday, maybe even early enough for the sunrise.
I reached the lean-to on the point a little after dark and didn't sleep well because it was so clear I kept getting up to star gaze.
Friday morning the skiing was too good to pass up and I wanted to take some of my excess stuff (didn't need it when it got down to 0 so figured I would be OK without it) back to my car so I skied down to the parking lot to meet my companions. I got there just as they were walking away from the trail registry.
Last time I was there, in the fall of 2017, I made it up Treadway Mountain after looking at it for almost 20 years. I just love how it catches the late afternoon sun in the winter.
Saturday I tried to leave early enough with the intention to make it most of the way, if not all the way up Pharaoh before the sunrise. That is if someone else had broken the trail. As it was I missed it (there's no disk on a tree at the edge of the lake anymore and few in the woods) and when I knew I'd missed it I decided on circling back around to the lean-to for a second breakfast and better clothing choices, with the hopes that someone would go past and break the trail. They did, but they followed my tracks from the first attempt and circled back to the other lean-to they were staying in.
It took almost 3 hours to get up the 1.5 miles, but I kept thinking how clear the sky was and what the High Peaks and mountains to the west would look like from the top so never considered turning back.
By the time I got back the snow fleas were out en mass. It looked like someone had dumped ash in the hole we drilled for water.
Sometime around 3 am Sunday morning we finally lost the clear skies and by 5 the expected snow was filling the lean-to. It was great to have fresh powder for another ski back to the parking lot.
I can't remember a weekend with as nice conditions as these.
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Last edited by Banjoe; 03-15-2019 at 07:52 PM..
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