Saturday, February 5, 2011
Senior Hiking #387 Schweitzer Nordics
Jan 17, 2011…Schweitzer Nordics…
hike # 387
A heat wave hit us again…temp was 40° when we left the house and it was about 35° in the village up at Schweitzer…and raining which the website said had just turned to light snow. They also advised to stay on groomed trails only due to avalanche possibilities and soft snow. They also advised that it may be a good day to get out on the cross country trials...instead of the soft slopes…grrrr. Our plan was to park up near the village, and hopefully they would not be charging to park…we lucked out. Finally broke down and bought our season passes, and left for the hike from the village, changing our flight plan. The wind though wild was warm and since it was not a cold one, I did not put my face mask on, though I thought about it. Not too many people but saw a lot of little ones. Lighter clothing today but did have HotHands in the mitts…no down mitts today.
Because we now had our passes and we were “legal”, we were hoping we would meet the pass patrol lady...and we DID! We happily flashed our new passes at her and she almost did a dance…she was so happy and kept thanking us…she’s a nice gal.
It wasn’t long before we began to meet skiers. Omigosh, there were so many on the trail today. I don’t know if it had anything to do with the web report, or maybe the holiday, but it had to be the most we have ever seen. I soon lost count.
First we had some light rain, then light snow, then a patch of blue sky and sun for a nanosecond, then wind, and then more light rain mixed with snow. The snow underfoot was soft and mushy in places…my ankles noticed the change in the compactness before too long.
In spite our later than usual start, we continued on to the end of Wolf Ridge, but since we left from the village and skipped the steep climb up to Picnic point, we were about 15 minutes ahead of schedule! That surprised me. We could see that there was serious weather and wind up on the top…it was fogged in all day, most likely snowing hard. I spotted a bobcat track in the snow.
Finally back down to the village, we ‘people watched’ for awhile and again, there were so many “short” skiers and I mean short. These kids were so cute…some with parents and some with instructors. I asked a few how old these kids were and asked some of kids if they were having fun, receiving a variety of answers back! One dad I asked said his son was 2 years old! I guessed about three years old…Omigosh. My next question to him was he potty trained…NO! He was not. I wondered if they had layered him up in double overnighter Pampers! We took pics of this little one. He probably just learned how to walk!
Not having to walk up from the lowest parking lot, not doing the steep Picnic Point trail and leaving from the village saved us about 1½ hours but almost the same in miles.
Got to village 3:15
Total miles hiked 8 miles
Total hiking time 4 hours, 15 minutes