Saturday, August 09, 2014

Mount McGinnis - Juneau, AK

Tim Steffen, Wes Adkins, Courtney Wendel and her brother Matt, as well as myself hiked Mount McGinnis during early August.  The weather was abnormally sunny and warm, at least for Juneau, which was in complete contrast to the miserably wet, cold, and cloudy conditions I encountered while doing McGinnis a month or so earlier.  The trail starts out flat for the first mile or two as it skirts past the west side of Mendenhall Lake, then begins to gradually climb the slope below McGinnis.  The views become progressively more spectacular as the route wraps around the northeast portion of McGinnis...with the vastness of Mendenhall Glacier in all its crevassed glory laid out a couple thousand feet below the trail.  Some class 2/easy class 3 sections are encountered periodically as the route progresses.  Once above treeline, a series of false summits are surmounted, with the final summit coming in to view during the last half mile/thousand feet of ascent.  The summit is pretty narrow and covered in grass, which was also a new experience for me, given my previous ascent was made when the mountain was covered with snow.  All in all a fun day in the mountains, the upward slog being a bit grueling due to a 20-30 mile bike ride I did the day before, with most of the time being made up during the steep downward descent.