Early Hikers Gets the Solitude . . . The Osceola's

Date of Hike: 12/26/14

Greeley Ponds Trail: 1.2 miles  Mount Osceola Trail: 5.0 miles  /  Greeley Ponds Trail: 1.2 miles
Total Miles: 7.4 miles (3,100 feet elevation gained)

Trip Report:
- What a difference a few days make!  Unfortunately, the warmer weather and rain has wiped the trees of the their winter wonderland look and put a dent in the snow levels.  The good news was that there was still plenty of snow on the trails and they were still packed down so postholing was not an issue without our snowshoes on.
- Whitney, Kyle, and myself got an early start to avoid the crowds, plus they both had to get back home for work.  There were only a few other people on the trail as we made the steep ascent up to East Peak of Osceola.  The wind was whipping above us but it was very warm out, mid thirties, and with all the snow gone from the trees it had more of a spring feel than winter.
- The East Peak of Osceola is one of the more lamer summit spots for the 48 - 4,000 footers, it's just a pile of rocks on the side of the trail.  The main highlight of East Peak is the view from the small slide before gaining the ridge and the wicked fun 'Chimney' in the East / Main Osceola col.  On Saturday the Chimney had only one mini ice bulge that had to be carefully climb up and over.  Kyle led the way, I followed him, and Whitney took the bypass to the right.  On the way down we all took the bypass as none of us felt like down climbing the ice bulge spot.
- Views from the main peak were pretty stellar, we all took a break before storming off back to East Peak and then descending the steeps off East Peak.  Below East Peak we ran into the cavalry, a group of a eight or so making their way up to the ridge.  They had a dog with them that would run up ahead and then run back, he was having a blast motoring up and down the steep section with his four paw traction.
- We made it back to the car before noon and noticed that the Jeep, which was in park, had somehow moved back two feet into a snow bank.  I have no idea how this happened, kind of freaked me out, since it was not on a hill, maybe it had something to do with the icy lot!  Anyway, there was no damage so Whitney and I headed back to NOCO and Kyle headed back south.  It was a fun early morning hike in the Whites!

Trailhead and along the Greeley Ponds Trail 
 Heading up the steep Mount Osceola Trail up to East Peak
 Looking down to Greeley Ponds
 Arrow Slide and the Hancock Range, as you can see the iPhone zoom isn't that good!
 Diagonal Slide on the way to the summit of East Peak  
 The Chimney and the Chimney bypass
 Reaching Osceola's Main Peak, the Tripyramids in view, and descending Main Peak Osceoala
 East Peak Osceola
 Kyle descending from Osceola and then the steps below East Peak
 Mount Osceola from East Peak
 Dogs on Osceola's!!!! hachachacha!!!
 Looking towards the Hancocks
 Heading back to the car
Route for the day, click here for details ...Look at that Dog Leg Slide!!!!