Sunday, June 12, 2011
June 6, 2011…the last Schweitzer snow hike…
hike # 405
The forecast was for 60% rain today but the sun was coming out when we left. Normally we would have been done with Schweitzer by now but we needed more practice with our approach skis, and Jim bought another new pair and he was especially anxious to try them out. They are shorter than the others and do have skins. Temperature was to be around 70° so I wore short sleeves and summer hiking pants.
We got our first taste of wildflowers; so many yellow violets, trillium, glacier lilies and even one pussy willow bush. We saw no bear tracks today.
If we thought the snow was bad down lower, it was extremely bad up top as we began to ski down Zip Down. I started first and it wasn’t long before I thought…no way.
Safely at the bottom of the run at Wolf Ridge, we ate lunch, and then headed back. Jim’s skis kept coming off…had to get the wrench out for some repair a couple of times but it didn’t help much. They kept coming off, and he fell a few more times. Rain clouds were ominous when we got to the village and as we drove down the mountain rain drops began to hit the windshield. We made it back just in time.
We can now drive up Pack River Rd and when we hit snow, we will park and walk to the first trail head…it is usually around 1-2 miles. While it is not so bad on the way in, it is a chore on the way back…it is hard to not be at the truck when you get down but have to walk the miles to the truck. We’ve done it many times…and once in a hard downpour…that was no fun. This is the latest we have been up at Schweitzer and the latest we have not been up to the mountain trail heads. We are anxious. It’s been a long winter. We’ll see if we can stay away from Schweitzer next week!
Left home 10:00
Started up 10:30
Got back to truck 3:10
Total hiking time 4 hours, 40 minutes
Total miles hiked 6 miles
May 30, 2011…Memorial Day…Schweitzer on approach skis…
Thank you to all those brave men and women who gave their lives, the ultimate sacrifice for our country and our freedoms. And thank you to their families. We honor you and will never forget. God bless America.
The plan for today was to go all the way up to Stella 6 person lift and then ski down the steep Stella run…it may be called ‘Zip Down Run’. We stopped for a mango break before heading over to the steep hill. This is the same hill that we practiced a bit on last week down near the bottom. I started down first, going slowly and carefully, doing wide turns. I did better than I thought I would and while it was killing my knees, I never fell down once, all the way to the bottom. Jim was not as fortunate…he took the first fall almost immediately. When I saw he was down, I walked back up as I did each time he fell, thinking he might be hurt or needed help. It was almost I impossible for him to get the skis off alone. Back on his feet, he took off again, only to fall once again. This is when he decided to take off the skis and walk down, carrying the skis. When he was closer to the bottom, he put them back on and while skiing down, hit some icy snow and down he went again. I could hear the loud thump, and was relieved to find out he had landed on this backpack.
Left home 8:30
Started up 9:15
Got to truck 3:00
Total hiking time 4 hours, 10 minutes
Total miles hiked 6 miles