Sunday, December 27, 2015
South Mountain White after Christmas Dinner Burn
I was too tired to get up and I was too tired to hike, but it was forecast to rain all day the next day, so off I went after stopping for gas. There was snow at the start of the hike, so I knew there would be deep snow at the top. I started my hike at 11:30 with snowshoes strapped to my back.
I saw a group behind me at the start but then I did not see them again. I put on my snow shoes at 1,600 feet. Shortly after that, Patches went off the trail in search of deer or something and then struggled to get back on the road, but I knew she would make it back up. She must have been more stuck then I thought. I was nearly to the top, and still no Patches and I was moving really slow. Where was Patches?
A man on snowshoes came up behind me. He said that Patches had been stuck but was following his party up the Mountain. The man was in a hurry and he passed me on the way up and on his way back down before I reached the summit. He said he left one of his party behind about 15 minutes down. I figured Patches was following him and I would see them both soon.
I got to the summit and still no Patches, so I headed right back down without a break. When I finally found Patches she was about half way up and she was struggling. The folks behind me had been post holing in the snow and my tracks had been destroyed. I could not even walk in my own tracks. I made new tracks for Patches to follow down. In deep snow Patches always depends on my tracks. But my tracks had been destroyed by people post holing in them.
If I had pulled her out when she first got stuck she would not have been trapped in the other's parties tracks, she could have used my tracks. This was the first time I ever saw other hikers on South Mountain.
It took me 4 hours to go up and less than 2 hours to go down even with a short coffee break. I started my hike at 11:30, left the top and 3:45 and made it back to my car at 5:35.
I had to wear my snow shoes for almost 5 miles of this 8 mile hike. The snow was really deep.
7.75 miles with 2,300 feet elevation gain