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Schweitzer Hike #403

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Schweitzer Hike #403

Schweitzer on slider snowshoes


partly cloudy 50°        

May 23, 2011…Schweitzer on slider snowshoes…hike # 403    

The second pair of snowshoes skis arrived…I was excited to try them out. We loaded both the old and the new skis, and Jim tied my snowshoes to his pack ‘just in case’. Started out up the cattrack and I knew I was going to be in trouble. It was a combination of the very wet soggy snow and the groomer had just been up and down. I was sliding sideways and every which way…so out of control, that I was barely able to stay on my feet. I wanted Jim to see why I was whining and so we switched…he experienced the same issues. We both noticed the same differences…I felt so much better on the older ones.

When we got on a slight ascent, we switched back again…it was slippery but now we were in regular snow so there was more control. Once we stepped over to the side to look at a dirt patch and I went sliding right into the dirt. I couldn’t stop. Then when we got to the nice picture spot, again, one slight move with my ski and Jim screamed STOP! Luckily I stopped because this was a serious steep side of the mountain.         

 When we got up further, we switched skis again and once again I was feeling the sliding...but kept them on, since we were going uphill. I was anxious to have a little hill to check out the sliding. Finally saw a hill up ahead and got excited…’Oh, good...a hill’…I said out loud…and that is the last thing I remember before I lost control, went flying off the trail and down a hill on my butt. I had no idea when I would stop or if I would stop. Jim said my skies were flying up in the air as I was sliding fast on my butt. When I stopped I just burst out laughing so hard, a good signal to Jim that I was okay. And of course I could not get up without taking the skis off. Jim wasn’t crazy about coming down the hill to help but he did and I decided that we should switch back after climbing back up. It felt good to get the old ones on again…they are much slower. The new ones are plastic and have a fish scale embossed pattern which allows for easy up and easy down…or I should say, a ‘fast out of control’ down. The old ones have skins.

 When we got to Wolf Ridge and the steep ski hill, I thought it would be a good idea to walk up it and practice coming down. We walked up quite a bit, and walked over to the side…all of a sudden, my feet went out from under me and down I went. That was a surprise. Then we started practicing skiing down…very slowly and very carefully. It was fun but each time we picked up speed we would practice stopping. It is not that easy, believe me. We went up and down about 3-4 times and decided rather than continue down Wolf Ridge, to just turn around and head back.

Although we were a bit concerned about skiing down the cattrack, we decided to give it a try. It went well until Jim got out of control and crashed down to the ground, just missing a ditch which was full of rushing falling melted snow! I had to help him get the skis off and then he was able to get up. Then we had a nice surprise…bear tracks crossing the trail after we had been there a few hours earlier. Took pics. We were pretty wiped out by now, being out for four hours and only covered 6 miles.

Left home                    10:20

Started up                   11:00

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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hiking, Schweitzer, skiing, snowshoeing, snowshoe skis

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