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Absolutely the last Schweitzer Hike, Hike #408

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Absolutely the last Schweitzer Hike, Hike #408

 

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June 27, 2011…absolutely the last Schweitzer…I really mean it this time …hike # 408           

We needed to get one more shot at some snow to try out a new ski plan, so headed back up for the last time. The village is ablaze with summer activity, and there were even a few people milling about. The quad lift was running for those who wanted to pay for a trip up to the top and back down. We got some strange looks as we headed up with the skis strapped to Jim’s pack. It was hot.

The wildflowers are fading…and not as prolific as last week and did I say it was hot! I had to stop to take off my over boots, which were cooking my feet. Then I rolled up my pants. We walked all the way up to where we found snow last week, and this week it was gone! So walked up the steep run called the Great Divide, and when we put the skis on, and as I was about to ski down, it looked awfully steep and it scared the wits out of me to try it. Jim tried and went down about 30 feet and stopped. We decided that we had walked up way too far and my fun meter had maxed out. We thought of options but on the way down, we spotted a nice stretch of protected snow, so decided to try and practice there. This was a better hill and although my skis with the skins did not work at all, Jim went down fine on the LL Bean skis. So, we switched and I got the more slippery ones and it worked great. Jim sat on the sidelines while I went up and skied down many times and even got a jump start off one of the side banks. I can definitely handle these skis. All we do in the winter is stay on the Nordic trails with nothing as steep as what we practice on now, and as long as I can do the turns and stops, these should work. But we would have to get another pair so we each have them, if they are till available. We don’t think they are made any more. I guess we will just have to wait a few months till the snow starts to fly once again with some cold dry snow...I wish I got this idea sooner rather than later during the season. Jim says it is all my fault…all winter, each time we saw a x-country skier fly by us, I always remarked that I would love to do that! But x-country is a whole different ballgame…we tried it once years ago and while it was fun, it is a lot of work! We took a video of each other skiing down but Jim didn’t do it right so it didn’t come out…mine of him worked fine. I have since given Jim instruction on how to do it!

Back down in the village, again we got stares and some asked us what we did up there…and if we actually walked up! There were more people now enjoying the sunshine, the lift was still running, there was a kid on the bungee jump thing, and the horse coral fence was up getting ready for trail rides. The fence for the tennis courts was laid out but not up yet. It is quite strange to see the resort transform from winter to summer, and we even noticed things up on the mountain that we had not seen before. I looked for bears all day and saw nothing. In the parking lot we met a guy who had just come down on the lift and said he saw a big black bear just walking around and minding his own business. I was jealous.

Now it is time to get back to the mountains, one of our favorites, Harrison Lake on snowshoes, is on the schedule for next week.

Left home                    10:00

Started up                   10:30

Got to truck                 2:30   

Total miles hiked          5 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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