If you remember my blog post from last Saturday, I made the statement that "I embrace snow whether it is on the ground or in the air!" Even that I made that declaration, I would still prefer it not to be in the air but I can make the best of it, if it is so. I may have created a jinx and set myself up for that because today we had plenty of both and at times too much. It just goes to show that when you head to the mountains to "have fun", you better go prepared because Mother Nature can be fickle. The cold weather that we were faced with in the morning and the conditions that erupted in the afternoon were not in any forecast I read for today but I was prepared.
We had a great plan for today to summit Rainy Summit Ridge then carry on higher to the Lookout and also upon our return veer off Route 66 and explore more trails, meadows and creeks. Lofty? Not normally but today was not normal. Lofty? Yes!
As we drove down the road towards the trail head, our view was banner-like . We watched as it appeared like the mountain peaks were suspended in the sky, then the clouds disappeared, the fog lifted, the sky turned bright blue and the temperature read -22C (-7.6F). This was not a temperature we were expecting but we would "have fun" anyway.
We were first on 66 today!
Others had been yesterday.
We followed Route 66 for just over 5 km.
The view from where we came.
I could hardly wait to get around the corner because I knew what we were in for. No one had been here today, yesterday or as it appeared, nor many days before this day. The snow was pure and sparkling. It is views and conditions like this that make snow so easy to embrace. It was perfect snow to "have fun" in!
We carried on down the road towards the Rainy Summit Ridge trail head.
The trail head for us today was at the wide open space where the Timber Harvesting sign is located. We changed over from microspikes to snowshoes and made our way through the meadow towards the trees where we would begin our climb to the Ridge.
Our destination is the clear high point at middle left.
It was a soooo slow snowshoe slog through the trees in quite deep snow. We stuck to the GPS track as much as possible. As the minutes were ticking on while we climbed in the trees, we could see dark clouds coming our way. We had hoped to reach the top while the sky was still blue but the depth of the snow hampered us from being speedy. After working our way through the trees, then the rocky section, we reached openings. That's Forgetmenot Ridge framed by the trees.
By now it was already 2:00 ( we began at 9:20). We were not at the Lookout but we were at Rainy Summit Ridge and this would have to be our high point for today. The Lookout was another 114 meters of elevation through deep snow. We threw our egos by the wayside and made the wise choice to save it for another today. So you know what that means! Now time for my summit shot!
"Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" by Cyndi Lauper played.
Once the summit shot was secured and the dance party over with, it was time to settle down to dine. The snow flurried around us, it became colder, the views dissipated, we ate, we bundled up and packed up then began the descent following the trail we already broke on the way up.
It was a much quicker trip down and we found an open stretch that was easy to navigate along and it also cut off some time and distance. We completed a small loop (we were determined to get some kind of loop incorporated one way or another) and met up with our track at the Rainy Summit Ridge trail head.
Now we just had the roughly 5km trip back along Route 66.
It was an easy breezy route, yet very tiring, all the way back to the vehicle.
The trip home comment written on Page 103 of the Red Book says "Girls just wanna have fun? YUP! We did! Because we know how to"! Even though our route objective was not reached the most important objective was and that was to have fun. In our chitter chatter, we learned that all of us have big, fun objectives a mere short time down the road. Anticipation is wonderful!