It’s backpacking season! We left our skis behind and went on a three day backpacking adventure through the Eagle Cap Wilderness. It was exactly what we needed, both physically and mentally, after being cooped up at home for so long.
The first couple of miles of trail was dry and rocky, then turned to patchy snow, then miles of all snowy landscape. Keeping firm footing was tough. The snow was slushy in places, icy in others. Brad kicked steps for me, but we both postholed for most of the way, and I won’t lie, there were some minor scrapes and injuries as a result.
It was six miles to Aneroid Lake, which was the intended destination, but we decided to set up camp at a lower elevation near a rushing stream so we could eat some food, relax, dry out our wet shoes… I got to dig out my very first snow camp, which was a ton of fun! It was freezing at night. Our water froze. Our wet socks were frozen stiff. I was cold during the night despite having on two base layers, down pants, a down mid layer and my expedition puffy. Note to self, eat more food before bed. This is a little trick that Brad shared with me and it really works. Eat a good meal of carbohydrates before bed, and it will really get the furnace going. All the layers in the world won’t keep you warm if you aren’t generating any body heat to begin with…
The next day we hiked the rest of the way to Aneroid Lake. It was frozen over and glowed blue like a swimming pool. It was so pretty. All around us the mountains were shining with ice, and there was evidence of recent avalanches. We sat overlooking the lake for a while and took in the view, and just enjoyed the serenity of it all. There wasn’t another soul for miles and miles. I love being alone in the wilderness.
I ate more food on the second night, and was so hot I thought I was going to suffocate! Now I know what Brad feels like all the time. He’s always hot and stripping off his clothes.
The hike back out was brutal! The snow had melted out considerably in the two days since hiking in, and was treacherous to cross in places. It was very slow going, a snail’s pace. We celebrated after getting down with many fist bumps, hot showers, and a rack of ribs. What a treat! Food tastes so good when you’ve really earned it!0