January 23, 2010

Sawyer Mountain

Another day of full sun was in the forecast. How could I fit a snowshoe trip between dropping my son at basketball practice at 8:00am and my daughter at a birthday party at 4:00pm?? I had read a lot of trip reports on Sawyer Mountain. It is just above Indian Lake and is described as a good mountain to introduce hiking to kids. I intended to bring my nephew on a climb up this mountain but we weren't sure about him doing it on snowshoes. Today was the day that this 2.2 mile RT mountain would come in handy for Reagan's second snowshoe. She only wanted to know if it was easier than Hadley...when I expressed that it was definitely going to be easier, she decided to tag along. She entertained herself along the trail, leading most of the way up and doing an intentional and way cool butt slide on the way down. She was motivated to keep pressing ahead because there were children behind us on the trail and one of them was a boy. I told her that for one thing.....we don't want that BOY to beat us to the top and another thing.....we wanted to make it to the summit first in order to get the best seat for the view. She only rested a few times and we were successful. Even with Reagan it was just one hour to the top. Along the way she expressed interest in the animal tracks. We spotted Fisher tracks, Mole tracks, Snowshoe Hare prints and just when Reagan was in need of a diversion from the task of climbing....someone who had gone before us had built an 18 inch snowman on a rock right alongside the trail. CUTE!!!

Unfortunately, she seems to really care NOTHING for the color of the sky that my father described as Bluebird Blue. At 3/4 of the way to the summit there are finally some lookouts with nice long distance clear viewing.....NOPE, not impressed. I tried to tell her that the view is the reward for the exertion. She insists that MONEY is a reward. I told her blind people would probably pay a lot of money to be able see the view that she was taking for granted. You can lead a horse to water....regardless, it was good that she came today.

The sun was so warm and bright, the snow was sparkling like diamonds. My mind wandered to a time when maybe it will be Me..hiking with a daughter who loves it as much as I do. I will wait as patiently as my father did.

January 19, 2010

My mother got this book for my father for his birthday. The few stories I was already able to read were exciting and informative. Two of the stories in the book are actually written by my 46er correspondent, Brian Hoody! One of my favorites so far was about a 76 year old man who needed a week to recover from climbing Cascade but then built his strength and endurance by climbing, went on to become a 46er at 82 years old and was eventually told by his doctor that he had actually reversed the aging process. Anecdotal about the places we've been, Informative about the mountains we have left to do and Inspirational from the people who've gone before us.

January 16, 2010

9th trip up Hadley Mountain

My only goal for this Saturday morning was to SLEEP in. Reagan was at a friend's house and Dan was off today and available to take Greg to his early morning basketball practice. Mission accomplished...I got up at 11:30 when Reagan called to ask if she could stay longer at the friend's house. With more freedom than I anticipated having and the sun shining warm and bright, I began itching to go snowshoeing. Of course it would be a late start so the obvious destination would be somewhere close to home. I quickly called my father and it took him about 2 seconds to answer yes to my suggestion that we climb Hadley today. We signed in at the trailhead at 1:30 and began the climb which is steep right from the beginning. There were several other climbers taking advantage of this spectacular day. The trail is very well packed down and we actually could have worn just boots with yak traks. However, there were several pretty icy spots that required the teeth of the snowshoe crampons. We know the trail like the back of our hands at this point so it was humorous when the people coming down assured us that we were "almost there". We saw 2 golden retrievers (made me wish shadow was with us), a black newfoundland, a black lab and 2 other mixed dogs...each one looking like he was happy to be doing his favorite thing in the world. We reached the summit at 3:30. As usual all of the people that had passed us going up were also on their way down before we summitted. This works in our favor though because we had the top to ourselves. It wasn't particularly windy today and with the sun shining it felt warm. Too lazy to take our snowshoes off we didnt climb the tower today. We spent about a half hour taking in the strangely hazy view and started down at 4:00 ejoying the orange glow of the sun setting as we walked along the ridge. We had seen the tracks of a bushwacker on the way up who had been cutting off the switchbacks and decided we would follow his trail on the way down. So off the beaten path we went. It definitely cut off some time and allowed us to travel in some snow that was deeper and not slick with ice. The register was ahead of us in no time. Good thing....we signed out by headlamp at 5:10 and joked that we closed the mountain.

January 1, 2010

Happy New Year

My father and I started day one of the new decade by snowshoeing with some of my co-workers. The destination was Hour Pond in the Siamese Wilderness in North Creek. However, after finding that the RT would be 8.6 miles and getting an 11am start we all agreed that we would skip seeing the pond and the new lean-to if necessary to get back to the cars before dark. We made it to the junction that would have taken us the .8 miles to the pond at about 1:30. Hunger had set in and we decided that we preferred to spend more time building a fire and eating a leisurely lunch. We ate deviled eggs, cheese and pepperoni, crackers and hummus and hot dogs. We toasted the New Year Snowshoe with whatever wine or beer we were individually willing to carry for ourselves and the rule was that you still had to be able to carry yourself out of the woods! Luckily the shortcut loop back to the car was mainly downhill and gave us a quick peek at Gore Mountain off in the distance..... but we had to cross a frozen Thirteenth Lake. I found that part to be a little creepy, especially since someone questioned if it had been cold enough yet and was the ice going to be thick enough. A 6.1 mile first snowshoe of the season is nothing to sneeze at. My legs are sore and I am extremely tired. I would already be sleeping but I was eager to get back to blogging after 2 months without a computer and happy to have a trip report to share with whatever readers haven't given up on A WALK IN THE PARK.....

Wishing you a happy new year of hiking!