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Zuni Creek to Thor Creek #428

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Fifty one years!

30 °  Nov 14, 2011…Schweitzer Nordics…hike # 428…celebrating 51 years!    

Nov 12, 1960                         2011

 It was snowing really hard at our house when we got up. Last night I suggested that we try for one more mountain hike before we can’t get in any longer, maybe even make to Harrison Lake one more time, and before we spend the next 7 months up at Schweitzer. We packed both the skis and the snowshoes Bundled up against the cold, and drove up Pack River Rd and were surprised at as much snow on the road as there was. The snow got deeper as we drove in 4 wheel drive now, and we finally decided to stop and parked the rig at Zuni Creek. Getting hopelessly stuck out in these boonies with no cell service is not appealing.

It was so cold and very windy when we got out of the truck. The plan now was to put the skis on and get to the Chimney Rock trail head, cross the bridge and ski to Thor Creek. Getting the skis on in the cold was not that much fun with bare hands, and we kept slipping and sliding all over the place. Jim slipped and fell as he was kneeling down to buckle the skis, and since he becomes a ‘beached whale’ with a fall, we had to get the skis off for him to get up! It was still snowing very hard as we skied our way up to the trailhead. So much snow.

Skied across the bridge and headed to the Thor Creek bridge where we stopped for mango and turned around. We commented to each other that it sure takes a lot longer to get to the bridge on skis than on ground! As we headed back we were apprehensive about skiing down hill, but were thankful there was no one around to watch us look like idiots with falling down or trying to stop, a technique we are trying to master. Since we made our own tracks going up, we came back in the narrow space and that made stopping difficult. The plan was that if we got into a situation, we would just stoop down and fall over, preventing us from going over the side. Neither of us had to employ this and neither of us fell.

Back at the truck winter was still in full force with wild cold wind and snow. While putting my stuff back into the truck, I slipped and fell, wedging myself between the front seat and the back. I yelled for Jim to come and help me, as I could not move. It was quite funny and I wish I had told him to take my picture.  Driving out, we saw a huge bull moose just crossing the road and heading up the hill. No time for a shot…and then saw numerous moose tracks on the sides of the road, crossing back and forth and up and down.

Left home                    8:30

Parked truck                9:30

Started up                   9:45

Got back to truck         2:00     

Total miles hiked          3.7 miles         

Total hiking time           4 hours, 15 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, Chimney Rock, cross country skiing, Thor Creek, Pack River Road, Zuni Creek

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