Thursday, December 2, 2010

Snow Camping at Mt. Hood

Just had my first experience camping in the snow at mt hood during Thanksgiving weekend. When my friend, Greg, and I developed this plan earlier in Nov, I didn't think it was a big deal. As it got colder and darker in Pdx, I started to worry a little. Co-workers and friends thought we were nuts and started to warn me, just added to my concerns. How will we keep our water and food from freezing? How will we cook and clean in the cold, dark? Can we make a fire? And more importantly I thought, how in the word am I going to pee in the woods in the cold night?

Well, thankfully we had two things going for us: 1. Greg has done this before, he's a tough Mt. guy and knew what to do, like level out the snow with a shovel before tenting. 2. He also had the gear. But I learned that a 0 deg sleeping bag doesn't mean u will be nice and toasty when it's 15 out. I still had to wear tons of layers. I stuffed my sleeping bag with some food, camera, and clothes to keep them warm. It was kinda hard to get a good night's sleep.

We got to snow shoe on 3 different trails in 3 days. At first, I thought my legs would be sore and tired, but it was not bad at all. One was a 5 mile loop around Trillium Lake; the other two were 3 miles out and back hikes. You actually get very warm snow shoeing even when it's flat. Once I had to take one of my extra leggings off during the hike. Me warm in winter, who knew.

We snow camped for two nights, which was just right. After that I looked forward to a warm shower, a real toilet, and laying down on something soft and warm. I'm glad I tried out my toughness on this small, local, accessible trip and glad Greg was there to guide me through it. The poor guy even had to shovel snow from one of the tires for an hr to fit a snow chain on it. Man what a hassle for him :( Thanks Greg!  Click here for more pix

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