Snowshoeing 101

We were invited to snowshoe into a yurt for a two-night stay by friends months ago. I was on board instantly while Mike was more realistic and contemplative about our ability to do it. No matter what, we were going! Eight of us took a hike to the yurt in October on dry ground to give us an idea of what we were in for. Up hill is what we were in for.  The yurt elevation is 5885, the distance from the parking lot to the yurt is just around 3 miles, and the elevation from the parking lot to the yurt 685 feet. The J’s and the D’s (having snowshoed into a different yurt last year) estimated it would take us 3 hours to hike in going at a comfortable pace. That was last October and Mike and I procrastinated all the way up till the middle of December before we decided we’d better get on board and get to the gym after a year’s hiatus. It was either that or opt for Life Flight to come pick us up somewhere along the trail!

Long story short (and waaaay too much pre-worry) we all did great and had an awesome experience with no crazy stories to tell along the way (darn it). It did help that the trail was beautifully groomed and the weather on Sunday when we started our hike was 50 degrees and sunny. It also helped that after about a half mile in we realized snow shoes weren’t necessary so we hoofed it on foot the rest of the way, taking lots of breaks as needed, and yup, three hours later we huffed and puffed into our home away from home — Skyline Yurt.

The guys pulled a sled weighing from 75 pounds to almost a 100. Way to go guys … you impressed your gals.

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And us girls carried a little weight as well. It was more about looking good. Haha! 🙂 Not for long with no showers, curling irons, or makeup!

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We had only a few minor ouchies, but nothing a little moleskin and the care of the medic men couldn’t fix.

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This next hill was a tough one as we got closer to the top.

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Thanks Linda for helping to push Mike’s sled up the hill! What a friend. 🙂

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Almost there!

SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERAThe girls had the first visual.

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Victory is ours!

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While I just took my little Samsung point and shoot, and couldn’t pan wide-angle, this will give you an idea of what a yurt looks like if case you’ve never seen one (like I hadn’t before last October). First off, it’s only 20 feet in diameter. It has two bunk beds (with a very narrow top bunk only a few feet or less from the ceiling), one futon-type couch, a table, folding chairs, and a cook station with a two burner stove that you bring your own propane for. Dishes and pots and pans are supplied as well as 3 wash buckets (wash/rinse/Clorox rinse), two big pots to melt snow in for water to wash dishes, silverware, dish soap, toilet paper and a few other things. You have to supply your drinking water.

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The outhouse is about four feet wide with no door so that you look out over the mountain. It’s quite a little walk from the yurt, and yet, a bit nippy in the middle of the night where head lamps and crampons” were helpful to keep from slipping. (crampons are like tire chains for shoes. So cool!)

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The fenced-in area is NOT for dogs, even though they are allowed at this yurt. This area is where you get your snow to melt and boil for dishes, coffee, or whatever.

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On Saturday after breakfast we went for a two-mile snowshoe hike on an ungroomed trail through the forest. It was so fun and so beautiful and we never saw another person all of Monday or Tuesday. Do you notice that Guy is in his t-shirt? That’s because it was sunny and 59 degrees for most of the afternoon. We were very grateful for the awesome weather our three days (Sun-Tues).

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We played cards on the deck for several hours after our hike.

SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERASAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERAThere are two journals in the yurt for guests to sign. Below is mine. I did learn something new from the journals. Two of them mentioned how bad the “barking spiders” were so I asked Linda what that was and she had no idea either. We both were a bit creeped out and glanced around the place to see if we could see them (especially since the other journals were written in the winter as well). When we didn’t see anything, we asked the guys. Well, let’s just say you can’t SEE barking spiders. You only hear them or smell them. Getting the idea? Yeah, we had some too as it turned out. 🙁

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 Thanks for the great weekend J’s and D’s. Looking forward to it again!

Linda J. - January 29, 2015 - 9:58 AM

It was a lot of fun getting lots of exercise and hanging out with great friends. I, too, worried too much about our abilities. But it really did feel like a victory when we were standing on that deck after making it all the way and it wasn’t even THAT hard-nothing more than a good effort and sweat. Have you contacted the General Mills people yet, Mary?

Vince - January 29, 2015 - 2:56 PM

Great pictures! Now I have a good idea of what a yurt looks like. Good thing none of you are claustrophobic, though. You all look so happy — I’m glad you had a good time!

Diane - January 29, 2015 - 7:27 PM

Mary you did a great job capturing of snowshoe trip. It was so much fun and wonderful memories. I am so proud of our men they worked so hard getting all our stuff up the mountain. And ladies we did it. I was worried I would not make it. And I am ready to go again!!!! It was so beautiful in the mountains.

Jim - January 29, 2015 - 7:43 PM

Your photos bring back memories of an awesome weekend with great friends. Great times,great pictures only 1 problem, are time was too short, we’ll have to do that again. We were blessed with fantastic weather, good food & lots of laughter. We’re lucky to have a friend that’s as good a photographer as you are. Thanks for posting your adventure.

Dad - January 29, 2015 - 9:15 PM

What a great trip with great friends. It was an awesome experience to say the least. A special thanks to our friends for helping us to prepare for this adventure. An to our photographer {my babe} you always have a way of capturing the best pics. It was a weekend I”ll never forget. Looking forward to our next trip in a couple of months. Love ya all.

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