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Schweitzer Nordics #431

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Dec 5, 2011…Nordics…hike # 431        

What a gorgeous day…the sky is blue, it is clear but cold. Loaded with optimism for a successful ski hike today, we headed up the mountain. Very few people in the lot and in the village...a slow Monday. We decided to stop in at the Alpine Shop and say hello to Frank, the guy we met on the trail last week. He was there and he gave us lots of tips, including putting permanent skins on the bottom. We took this to heart. Skiers put them on their skies to easily walk up steep slopes and take them off when they are ready to ski back down. Finally broke away from Frank, put on the skis and walked out of the village toward the cattrack. The newly groomed snow was really good, with all that ice from last week all broken up and groomed. Well, we began to slip every which way, backwards, sideways and every which way. The embossed fish scales on the bottom are supposed to grip on the way up and slide on the way down. What the heck is this sideways stuff? We didn’t make it very far before we thought this is NOT going to work. Feeling very discouraged, we decided to go back to the truck and get the snowshoes again! I could barely even walk down in my over boots so had to take them off too and felt much more secure in my boots. At the truck Jim strapped the snowshoes to his pack and thought we would put them on if we needed them but for the most part we would be able to walk in boots on the groomed trails.

We went up to Stella, still closed, as is the whole North Bowl. Had some mango and began to get cold. Standing in the sun helped but with just boots on my feet, the leather began to get soaked and chilled my feet. Walked down Zip Down and after we ate lunch, added a couple of more layers. It was cold. We spotted one lone x-country skier over on the trail, other than that we saw no one on these beautifully groomed trails.

We walked quite fast and got a good workout, and as we passed thru the village, we saw Frank headed out for a run on the Nordics. We chatted again and when he asked how we made out today, we told him our sad story. He offered to let us borrow his skins but we decided to order them online when we got home…which I did. I am so hoping this is going to be our answer. They will be here in two days.

Jim forgot his camera today…and he had it where it was supposed to remind to not to forget. So far Schweitzer has received 88”. While walking thru the village, we spotted a guy high up on a roof shoveling snow off….it was steep and he was tethered. I yelled up to him that I was going to take his picture.

It was a short hike today with talking to Frank and having to go back to the truck, but a good workout…and we learned a few things!

Left home                                9:30

Got to T.H.                              10:00

Finally started up                     12:00

Got to truck                             2:30    

Total miles hiked                      6 miles

Total hiking time                       2 hours, 30 minutes

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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.

Tagged as:

hiking, Schweitzer Mountain, cross country skiing, North Bowl, Alpine Shop

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