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Schweitzer Back Side hike #399

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Schweitzer Back Side hike #399

35°    cloudy2 snow showerspartly

April 25,  2011…up behind Schweitzer firehouse…hike # 399

As I write this report the next morning it is snowing at our home! I guess spring forgot North Idaho this year.

It was cloudy when we headed up to Schweitzer to do the mountain up the backside from the firehouse. Schweitzer is closed as I mentioned last week but we wanted one more time on this route to see the tape measure tacked to the snag and to see how much snow accumulated at the ‘What would Tim do” sign. Schweitzer has had the best season in years, and got then got the most snow toward the end of the season. It just kept snowing since November. And still is.

It was hard going from the start as no one had been on the trial and even after the long slag, heading up the ridge and ski run, the deep wet snow was a challenge. When we got to the snag where the tape was, it was no where to be seen but was completely covered with snow. There was no indication of it or the snag it is nailed to…the tape was 10’ long, and there were several more feet of snow above it. What a shock. 15’ feet fell this year.

So on we climbed and it got tougher and tougher…snowshoeing in wet mashed potatoes. Getting up to the top of the ridge was hard, and when we got up there, because there were no skiers and no grooming had been done in a couple of weeks, we were so disoriented. We couldn’t tell where we were nor could we find the red ‘What would Tim do’ sign, which we always take a picture of. We found a fort like snow structure…someone made a little circle with benches and a chair…I sat in the chair and sank down a few inches. Ate our lunch and since it wasn’t very cold, we didn’t feel like hot chocolate so I decided it would be good for dessert later after soup…which it was!

If we thought going up was tough, going back down was tougher. When Jim suggested that we ‘dog leg’ down a steep run from the top and then walk thru the village and down on the road to the firehouse, I nixed it. There were a few times later that I wished I had given it a second thought…it certainly would have been easier. And with no traffic on the road, it wouldn’t have been too stressful. About half way down it began to snow quite heavily…it was nice but by the time we got to the truck it had turned to rain.

Just before the truck on the final descent, we remembered that there used to be a pussy willow bush on the side…went down to check for it and I found one lone pussy willow in bloom…my camera batteries died just as I was photographing it so I had to borrow Jim’ s camera.

P.S.  It has been snowing off and on all this week!

Left home                    10:00

Started up                   10:35

Turned around              2:00    

Got to truck                 3:35 

Total miles hiked          7 miles

Total hiking time           5 long 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, Schweitzer, snowshoe, Schweitzer firehouse, What Would Tim Do

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