LOST (for about an hour)

March 22, 2008 at 7:06 pm

This weekend’s adventure ended up being a lot more exciting than we expected. The plan was to snowshoe up to Montgomery Pass, which is just north of Cameron Pass. We’ve attempted this hike before, but had to back down due to strong winds. This weekend, the weather was looking better, so, at around 11:30a, we headed up the trail towards the bright fields of snow above.

Red is where we were on trail, green is where we were off

We are no longer on a trail.  More like an avalanche run-out.

We flew up the trail, hiking at a high aerobic pace and dodging skiers and snowboarders flying down the hill. There is an intersection at the top, where skiers head for the Sugar Bowls, and the Montgomery Pass trail heads to the right. Our trail to the right was a smooth field of snow between the trees, we were going to have to break trail to the pass. “No Problem!” we said, and we headed off into the woods following the little blue signs on trees that marked our trail. It was supposed to be our own version of Dylan and Ann’s dot-to-dot hiking. We got past about three dots and then lost them completely in the thick woods.

“No problem!” we said. The pass was above treeline and north of us so we headed up to the bare snow, took a long hike to the right, and there it was!

Heavy Snow

The pass was all the more beautiful because of the unspoiled snow. We were definitely the first people there that day, and possibly since the last snow. We set up a little camp behind a group of trees, where we found warm sun and light winds. I took several yoga photos, and then tramped around the pass taking shots of the smooth snow, bright skies, and sculpted trees for most of an hour. Check out the gallery for more beautiful pictures!

Kate's yoga shoot 2

On our way out, we found the blue marks showing us the trail out. We found one, then another, and then were promptly lost in the woods again. We new the highway (and our trail) was downhill and south of us, so we just kept heading that way, hoping to eventually find the trail.

The going was rough, even with snowshoes, our steps sank into the deep powder several inches. Liv was up to her belly and sliding down the hill most of the way out. We took turns breaking trail for each other as we wandered through the forest. It was exhausting, even as we were generally heading down the slope. Eventually, Mark spotted the bright colors of a skier flying through the trees ahead of us, and we triumphantly burst out of the deep snowy woods onto the packed trail. Liv looked happier than she had all day!

We cruised down the easy trail for about 3 minutes before we popped out on the road at our car. Evidently, we had managed to parallel the trail all most all of the way down the hill before we found it. We dragged our sore, exhausted bodies into the car at around 5pm, and headed down the canyon to the warmth of home.