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Gold Hill, Trail #2

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Gold Hill, Trail #2

Hike #379

10°    with wind chill -8°, snow, wind 25mph   24bigsnow         

Nov 22, 2010…Gold Hill in snow and cold…tr #2 …hike # 379

The forecast for today was cold at 10°, winds 24 mph and wind chill at -8°. Oh, and it was also snowing quite hard. Hmmm…where to go. We picked something not too rigorous, and more or less flat…Lost Lake from the top of Mineral Point trail head seemed right. We dressed warmly, and I felt like a mummy. We brought the snowshoes and Stabilicers.

Headed down the highway south and road conditions were not good…wind was blowing hard but took the turnoff and conditions got progressively worse. Since were headed for a lot of non improved secondary roads, and the snow was getting deeper, we decided to turn around at Garfield Bay at 10:10. There was no way we would relax without being concerned about getting back out five hours later. Took a few pics of the deserted boats, and then turned back and headed to Gold Hill trail head. The water was as rough as we’ve ever seen.

Got to Gold Hill at 10:50...of course no one was there. The snow didn’t look deep enough for snowshoes and we didn’t even tie them to the pack. The lake, which is just across from the trail head, was close to rough ocean conditions here too…huge white caps and swells 8 feet high. Bundled up, we headed onward and upward. As we climbed higher, the snow got deeper and I found it more difficult to walk in it, more so than Jim. I couldn’t plow thru it the way he did so I eventually gave up the lead. We stopped for snacks at our usual spot but it was painful taking the mittens off to eat. Our thumbs were constantly cold and then I got the idea to try something I’ve been thinking about for a while, and that was to open another pack of Hot Hands and stuff one into each thumb in the mitten. I always thought it would be too thick and I wouldn’t get my thumbs in but I was very happily surprised when it worked! I had no more cold thumbs for the rest of the way up and the trek down. This will now become standard operating procedure.

We got as far as the first good view spot up top, and had enough fun. Took pics and got the heck out of Dodge without even eating lunch. Walking down on the slick deep snow proved difficult so we stopped to put the Stabilicers on our boots. This was not fun to do, in the cold and snow. Our hands completely froze in the process and had to take some time to stay still and get them warm. But by now my right foot was getting so numb and cold, that I had to keep it up and wiggle my toes. My nose, in spite of having two face masks on, was frozen…I stuffed a spare hankie under the nose flap and that felt so good…apparently the nose flap, after getting wet, froze, thus a cold nose. Now we were ready to continue down, albeit uncomfortably mummy-like for me. It was a long hike down and we just kept putting one foot in front of the other, until we got back to the truck. Working quickly, we got all the wet stuff off, stowed away, into the truck and then we ate lunch! I was so hungry. This was definitely one of our “we go out in any kind of weather” hikes.

Left home                      9:25

Aborted Lost Lake        10:10

Started up                     11:00

Turned around               1:10

Got to truck                  3:00

Total miles hiked           6 miles

Total hiking time           4 hours

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Author info

Betsy Fulling Betsy Fulling In 2002, after a bout with cancer and wanting her energy back, Betsy Fulling began hiking with her husband Jim. Regardless of the weather they go into the high country every week - in eight years, she has only missed five times.

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outdoors, hiking, Gold Hill, Trail #2

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