Sunday, March 28, 2010

"I go walkin' after midnight"

As the snow began to pile up and the thick flakes carried on the wind began to swallow up the mountain ahead of us we decided to call it a day. As Parker and I rode down from the mountain we realized the forecast for the next morning was blue skies and a foot of fresh. We had been wanting to do an overnighter for a while and we figured this would be our best opportunity.

After a few hangups we got a late start up to our desired destination: Twin Lakes Pass. The morning goal was to get a few lines before I had to get into work. Stepping out of the car onto a thick layer of fresh snow we surveyed the evening. Expecting the night to be filled with wind and snow, we found ourselves pleasantly surprised. The clouds had cleared and the full moon bathed the surrounding terrain in silver making everything look just a little more majestic. We walked up without our headlamps because the moon cast more than enough light. It was even bright enough to get some good riding done but Parker and I were fairly exhausted from carrying our brutally heavy packs.

We woke up in a war zone. Bombs going off all around us. Some were faintly heard and others felt as if they might we coming for us. The 4 resorts that were within earshot spent about 2 hours blasting. Snow was falling and the clouds had returned. We stayed in our sleeping bags for a bit longer than we had planned. When we finally dragged ourselves out of the tent, we went to get some lines on Mt. Wolverine. I had mine picked out and I dropped in. Half way down I had a good sized wind deposit sluff off which took my feet out from under me. That was all I had time for.

As we packed up and rode down I became a little frustrated. This was my first winter camping trip since I was 12 without snowmobiles. It is a really different experience carrying all that gear and then riding out with it.

The lessons I learned about camping on my splitboard:
-If I am going to camp for just one night, I am just going to sleep out under the stars. Forget the tent (TOO DANG HEAVY)
-Don't bother camping unless you are going to be there multiple days...It is way easier to just do an early morning tour with a really light pack.
-I need a lighter sleeping bag. I have an amazingly warm sleeping bag that might just weigh a million pounds.
-I love my camping stove. JetBoil. Get one.
-Parker needs a splitboard. Snowshoes are not as efficient.

That is just a small sample of what I learned. Next year we will get after it and go deeper. This was just our test run. The more time I spend out there the more I love it.

Parker wrote an awesome post about the event. Check it out.

Night time cruising.

So much snow. I loved the walk.

Parker with his new touring poles.

The summit of Mt. Wolverine.

David Kaplan met us in the morning.\

I really wish I would have dropped somewhere on the cirque instead of from the summit.


  1. I really liked the imagery in the passage about the "warzone." Good stuff mate!

  2. Would you really consider sleeping under the stars in that climate?