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Saturday, February 5, 2011

Senior Hiking #386

6° - 8°
Jan 10, 2011…Schweitzer Nordics…
hike # 386
by Betsy
Bitter cold has hit Sandpoint…headed up to the Schweitzer x-country trails. We were only one of three rigs in the parking lot. Not many people on the hill…some kids and a sixth grade teacher who brought some students to snowboard. What is that all about…don’t kids go to school on Monday any more? We see this frequently.
Of course we were bundled up…wore my new polartec lined pants with my heaviest long johns underneath. Face mask, hat and two hoods and down vest, wool name it, I had it on. There was quite a bit of snow this week though we had rain in town. Thankfully there was no wind but it was COLD.

It was a perfectly beautiful day, with not a cloud in the sky…visibility was excellent. After a bit of steep climbing, I had to stop to take the vest off. Then had to spend time getting my hands back warm with two pair of HotHands in each mitt. There seemed to be so many people on the x-country trails today, including a couple we sold a stove too. They were just getting into cross country skiing…he mentioned how they enjoy seeing my pictures in the paper and would we like if he took a picture of us together with my camera? Of course we agreed. Another person we met was the ‘snowshoe pass patrol lady’ out x-country skiing…she asked if we had our passes…we did not, having neglected to buy them but will now do so. She was very nice and didn’t set off the sirens but rather told us to have a nice day!

Now heading up for the long trek up to Wolf Ridge where the views were spectacular. The wind picked up a bit and it got cold enough for Jim to actually put his hat, hood and face mask on. It was a killer cold on the hands each time we had to take the mitts off but I could not resist taking pictures. My nose was freezing in spite of the mask…it just got so wet from breathe that it felt like an ice cube was strapped to it…finally had to wrap a bandana around my head on top of the mask. Then my feet began to get cold…Jim’s too and our feet never get cold with our great over boots. My water bottle froze. Too keep my glasses from fogging up…an annoying problem…I had to break down put the ski goggles on. I need to find some anti fog stuff…I was walking half blind. At the end of Wolf Ridge, where we turn around, the views of the Selkirk’s and the Seven Sisters range were outstanding. It was here that we both put our vests back on and headed back, down Cloudwalker trail and then taking the very steep ski run back down to the truck. Though it is always fun to walk down the cat track into the village to people watch, we were anxious to get back to the truck. Besides, they were about to close early today and there would have been no people. I was chilled to the bone.
My new pants are better than my old ones but my butt and thighs were very cold…it may have been the extreme cold. Next time I will wear two pairs of long johns under them.
Left home 9:30Started up 10:10Turned around 2:05
Got to truck 3:45
Total miles hiked 9 miles
Total hiking time 5 hours, 40 minute

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