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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Senior Hiking #383 Schweitzer

(Sorry - I am way behind in posting)
Dec 20, 2010…Schweitzer Nordic Trails…
hike #383
by Betsy

Finally had to start snowshoeing up at Schweitzer so headed up and parked at the lower parking lot. More rigs parked there than usual for a Monday but then we remembered that it is Christmas week and school is out. Even as we began on the trails, we had skiers and snowboarders coming at us…eventually the traffic stopped and we were alone. It was snowing lightly.

As usual we took the longer and harder way up to Picnic Point…here we met two skiers and one guy jogging up hill on snowshoes! Ha! Then further on we met another Nordic skier…chatted a while with him and he recognized Jim and said he had bought a stove from us a few years ago. Then we met up with the snowshoe jogger again and chatted…he said he was in awe of us! We told him that we were in awe of him…jogging on snowshoes! He said he also ice climbs and rock climbs! And still yet another couple was cross country skiing…they said they were taking it slow as it was their first day out his year. Too many people!

We did the usual loop, on Cloudwalker, Overland, Grrr…all the way to the end of Wolf Ridge. Wind picked up a bit along the ridge and I tried out my new face mask which worked great. Also tried my new Eddie Bauer European top quality mittens with down liners…they are wonderful. Had the
HotHands inside and then decided to take them out as a test and they worked great even in this cold weather…without HotHands! My thumbs never got cold once, except of course, if I had to take the mitts off for any reason. That was amazing to me. They still need a little breaking in…they’re not molded to the poles yet but they are not uncomfortable. I even convinced Jim that he would love a pair too…his hands were quite cold all day, and especially his thumbs.

It was beginning to get dark around 3:40 on this, the day before the shortest day of the year…and rather than walk the longer way down the cat track, thru the village and down the last run, we decided to take the shorter way, down an incredibly steep rarely used run. Got down and after spending a bit of time watching the workers get the lift shut down for the day, we headed over to the truck. It snowed nicely all day…last week’s rain and warmer weather did not help the snow on the mountain though the snow at the higher elevations didn’t seem to be affected much. It was a perfect snowshoe day…not too cold, no wind to speak of and nice snow falling.

Left home 10:10Started up 10:40
Turned around 2:35
Got to truck 4:00Total miles hiked 8 miles
Total hiking time 5 hours 20 minutes

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