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Schweitzer Hike #404

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Schweitzer Hike #404


sunny big   55°            

May 30, 2011…Memorial Day…Schweitzer on approach skis…hike #404

Thank you to all those brave men and women who gave their lives, the ultimate sacrifice for our country and our freedoms. And thank you to their families. We honor you and will never forget. God bless America.

Weather was warm for a change…hopefully we can continue to find half way decent snow up at Schweitzer…so far, so good albeit it is wet and mushy in a lot of places. There has been much snowmelt and rushing water as well and we are now noticing dirt patches along the sides of the trails at the lower elevations…not so much up higher. So confident were we today that we brought only the skis and no snowshoes. We saw so many bear tracks on the cattrack almost up to the top. The sun was very bright and the reflection off the white snow was blinding…I needed my Polaroid’s with Polaroid clip-ons, and Jim even broke pout his sunglasses.

The plan for today was to go all the way up to Stella 6 person lift and then ski down the steep Stella run…it may be called ‘Zip Down Run’. We stopped for a mango break before heading over to the steep hill. This is the same hill that we practiced a bit on last week down near the bottom. I started down first, going slowly and carefully, doing wide turns. I did better than I thought I would and while it was killing my knees, I never fell down once, all the way to the bottom. Jim was not as fortunate…he took the first fall almost immediately. When I saw he was down, I walked back up as I did each time he fell, thinking he might be hurt or needed help. It was almost I impossible for him to get the skis off alone. Back on his feet, he took off again, only to fall once again. This is when he decided to take off the skis and walk down, carrying the skis. When he was closer to the bottom, he put them back on and while skiing down, hit some icy snow and down he went again. I could hear the loud thump, and was relieved to find out he had landed on this backpack.

Finally down at the bottom and Wolf Ridge. We headed back to the village from there but we had one more misfortune…the mountain wasn’t thru with Jim yet. Coming down the cattrack, I was ahead of Jim and took one more look back to make sure he got across a big split in the snow without an issue. But then I took one more look back and saw that he was down yet again and sitting in a stream of running melting snow, aka ice water! So for the last time, I walked back up to him and after snapping a couple of pics, helped him out of the wet and cold watery hole. That was the final insult. We felt so tired as we drove down the mountain…and were happy to get home.

Left home                    8:30

Started up                   9:15

Got to truck                 3:00 

Total hiking time           4 hours, 10 minutes

Total miles hiked          6 miles        


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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, snowshoeing, Wolf Ridge

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