The first backpack of 2014 is in the books, as a bail. 3 hours in the carbon cuff on my right BCX12 was rubbing the outside of my lower leg in a way that just wasn’t going to work for another 20 miles, so I took the short option back. Still an extraordinary winter day. Six inches of very light snow last night, little wind, and temps dropping toward zero made the whole world damped and silent in a way which only exists in deep winter and movies.
The above lake was covered in 2-3 feet of snow, and frozen very solid. Yesterdays fresh sat on a hard 2 inch crust, under which sat a foot plus of faceted junk. About forty feet after the photo was taken the whole crust settled down under my weight will a rolling, all-encompassing, reverberating whomph. It was intimidating, no matter how sure I was that the ice was thick.
By mid-afternoon the light was growing long, and I was growing tired of breaking trail downhill. Immediately post fried chicken break I had resigned myself to doing so all the way to the campground, when a purple figure with a familiar gate appeared around the corner. It was Amber, doing the same loop in reverse. We chatted, thanked each other for breaking trail, and were on our way.
Amber even left me a snowman on the car.
The boots will need some attention from the dremel, which with hopefully prove a definitive solution. That is what deep winter trips are good for: shaking out new stuff and dialing in systems for a few months down the road. And trail breaking almost all day is excellent training.