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Schweitzer Nordics, epic snow

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Schweitzer Nordics, epic snow

Hike #393


28° - 30°   bigsnow 24

Feb 28, 2011 …Nordics…hike #393

Epic snow at Schweitzer…3 feet fell in the last 48 hours, and it is the driest I have ever seen…only 5% moisture. Only two lifts were open when we arrived, and we parked in the main lot. So few people. The wind was also epic…wild with zero visibility and gale force wind at the top. Gusts were up to 40 mph or higher. I was almost flattened a couple of times. Goggles and face mask were a must today. All groomed trails were completely filled in with the blowing snow so we walked in deep new snow with no evidence that they had been groomed earlier that morning. We met no one.

 Once we got to the village we went inside one of the buildings to get ourselves layered up better. The goggles and face masks saved us today. A Schweitzer worker warned us the drifts were quite deep and an office person had gone out earlier and sank down up to her waist...and she had snowshoes on!  

 It was a much harder effort today and we stayed on one of the main trails…Overland, nixing the short cut up to Picnic Point and all the other great trails.

At Picnic Point we headed over to the shed to have our snack and hot chocolate…it was hard to get the door opened as so much snow had blown in thru the partially closed door. Then headed back out to make the loop over to the cat track, and down to the village. So much deep snow…drifts everywhere, and there was no one coming down with all the lifts closed…no way to get up! This was good snowshoeing today, the way I like it. Heavy snow fell all day.

When we got back down to the village, just one lift was open now, the one on the easiest and lowest run. The village looked so empty. 3 hours out felt like 5. Since we never stopped to eat our lunch, we just headed right over to the truck. I ate my sandwich as we worked our way down the mountain. The windshield and my side window were covered with frozen ice...it was almost impossible to see out but “we” didn’t scrap it off first before driving down. (Sometimes we don’t play well together) The road was bad, and plows were everywhere trying to keep it opened. It was scary a few times as we skidded around turns but we finally got down safely and it was good to get home, albeit a bit earlier than usual. Stressful. The boys were happy to see us..

Left home               10:00

Started out              11:00

Got back to truck     2:00

Total miles hiked      5 miles

Total hiking time      3 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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hiking, Picnic Point, Schweitzer Nordics

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