Stranded In The Southland

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Slogging Through the Snow

Well, I made it back from my WTC snow hike in one piece. We headed out Saturday into the teeth of a pretty reasonable storm. The group usually goes up past Wrightwood to CA 2 and some campsites, but CA 2 was closed due to snow.

We slogged up the road in a couple of inches of snow for a couple of miles, then stepped up into several feet of snow at the campsite. After learning how to climb a hill in boots, we suffered at the top, with blizzardy snow blowing in our faces while we got on our snowshoes. We hiked around for awhile in showshoes, then finally stopped off for lunch.

Here's where things went wrong for me. While the leaders told me I had time to cook a hot lunch, they didn't count on my incompetence. It took me awhile to get the stove going, and longer still to get the snow melted (hint: don't put the gas canister down in the snow, it gets cold and doesn't work). Getting my Top Ramen cooked took so long that M., our chief honcho had gone from saying "We're leaving in five minutes," to "We're leaving in minus two minutes."

I pulled on my snow shoes and headed out quickly. I'm not the fasted guy in the group, but I'm pretty close. So when I had to stop to change my socks and put on some impromtu vapor barriers (plastic grocery sacks), everybody got to watch me, as I was at the start of the group. Next time, I'll have on decent boots that don't leak!

Anyway, it was still a fun day, and the beer and pizza at the end felt great!