Winter 2005 Snow Hikes
Report by Snowbob Skipants, Photos by Harlan Stockman and Snowbob Skipants
The LVMC had two official snow hikes in January and February of this year. The first was to Raintree on Sunday, January 30 led by Xavier Wasiak and Kim Friedman, and the second was led by Josh Owen and Richard Baugh on Sunday, February 20. Blessed by a phenomenal amount of snow this year, these outings were a snow-lovers dream.
Raintree - January 30
The group included leaders Xavier and Kim, Nick, Harlan, Lori, Josh, Steve Nguyen, Val, Dazey (Josh’s dog), myself and several others. We parked on the side of Deer Creek Road which links the highways that lead to Kyle and Lee Canyons. There had been about a foot of snow the previous day or so, causing us to sink deep in powder.
We cut straight up the mountain in a southerly direction. The group broke up eventually into smaller groups. Nick, Harlan and myself trudged to Raintree. The backcountry skiers began their descent once they hit a high point some 25 minutes before Raintree. Dazey impressed all as she bounded enthusiastically through the snow. The cold never seemed to let up that day. My nalgene bottle of water had developed ice crystals by the time we arrived at Raintree at around 11:30. The bristlecone pines had ice balls clinging to their needles, and I spotted a few dagger-like icicles on the way. We were all back to the parking lot by 1:15 for a relatively short but challenging outing.
Bristlecone Loop - February 20
In addition to our leaders Josh and Richard, Jim Albamont, Brett Dawson, a friend of his, Val, Kim, Luba, and several others participated. We began the hike at a parking lot below the Dolomite campground. We trudged or slid (depending on whether using snowshoes or backcountry skis) past South Sister on our right, and continued on to the junction with the Bonanza Trail. At that point, we headed up a hill which took us to nearly 10,000 feet, followed the curved ridgeline in a southerly direction, descended back towards the campgrounds. Along the way a group of three snowshoers tagged along. Richard did some avalanche testing at a particularly risky-looking area, and the conclusion was that there was considerable risk as the snow broke under his weight with one jump. The ridge we followed featured some neat-looking cornices. I got a chuckle as we passed literally over the campgrounds; the snow level was approximately at the base of the restroom roofs! Amazingly, all the signs were virtually buried, with only the tops sticking out. We were back to the parking lot in roughly five hours.