Thursday, December 26, 2013

Trip Report: Bear Mountain 12/14/13 – 12/15/13

Last week we had a few days of decent snow, so when the snow started falling, I decided to do a little trip. As with most winter trips, the biggest problem for me is actually driving to the mountains. My original plan was to go further north to a lake with the hopes that it would not be completely frozen and I could do some fishing. Unfortunately, the roads were not plowed, and with the snow continuing to come down, there was more than a good chance that even if I made it there, I would not be able to get the car out the next day. So, I drove to a spot near the forest, and parked on a street that I expected would be plowed. From there I set on foot.


My adjusted trip goal was to climb up to one of the ridges and get above the tree line, camp up on the mountain, and then come back down the following day.

There still wasn’t too much snow accumulation, and there was even some running water, which would have been a huge fuel saver. Unfortunately, there was none further up the mountain.


The elevation increase was rather quick, and after a few hours on walking, I started to reach more exposed area.


Soon after a I found a sheltered area where I could stop for lunch. I didn't bring my usual tortilla wrap type of stuff because it is hard to make and eat in the snow. I opted for bars which I would eat without too much hassle and while keeping my gloves on. While I was searing only liner gloves, they make a big difference, especially when there is wind. 


After this quick stop, I kept heading up, until I was on top of the ridge. It is not particularly high, but the winds were pretty severe. They served to sweep away most of the snow, which made walking easier.


The sun didn’t come out from behind the clouds all day. I figured it would get dark quickly, so I decided to set up camp. I found a flat are to the side of the ridge, where there had been very little snow accumulation, but the wind was not bad. It was to be home for the night.


I made a small fire for cooking and melting snow. Usually I don’t like to use a fire while it is snowing because the heat tends to melt the snow and get you more wet than you would be without the fire. In this instance however, the weather was not bad, so I didn’t mind. I still kept the fire small. It was enough to dry my gloves and cook my food.

It continued to snow on and off the whole night. I set out earlier than I ordinarily would have because I was worried about being able to get my car out. I just retraced my steps back.



My worries were for nothing. The car got out just fine. Despite the snow the weather was rather warm. The lowest it fell down to was 23F (-5C) during the night.


Nothing special to report on this trip. Just a bit of fun in the snow. Sometimes it’s fun to get out without doing anything too serious.

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