Honeymoon Adventure

Since it's now been more than a month since we returned to Seattle from our honeymoon I figure it is about time I put up a post. What follows is a brief account of the various "adventures" had on our Canadian Rockies Honeymoon.

6/30/14 - Seattle, WA -> Jasper, AB

We were wide awake early in the morning ready to get out of town and begin our adventure. After finishing up our packing and grabbing breakfast we were on the road heading north. The drive was absolutely gorgeous and other than the fact that our air conditioner cut out for about an hour (in 90 degree temps) it was a relatively painless drive. Additionally, after never seeing a bear in my life, I saw three by the side of the road (all alive) in this single day! After a brief stop at Mt. Robson and ~13 hours on the road we arrived at the Alpine Village in Jasper. We checked in and were excited to find maple cookies and chocolate waiting for us. We headed to the local brewery for dinner before sleeping for 12 hours. The combination of a wedding and a long drive certainly did us in.

Robson Pitstop

7/1/14 - Jasper, AB

Canada Day! We were up late and enjoyed breakfast in bed (granola, yogurt, and maple syrup...because Canada). We headed to town to watch the parade, which consisted of children dressed like mounties, real horses, various local floats, firemen, wedding dresses, and national park rangers. It was all over in about 10 minutes. We then decided to get some "adventure" in, so we headed up to the Whistles and took a tram to the top of the mountain...because honeymoon. At the top we were treated to amazing views of Edith Cavell and Robson, as well as various other peaks. 

Big Cairn

Happy Canada Day

Happy Canada Day

Once we had had our fill we headed back to town, ordered a pizza, and ate dinner while enjoying a glass of wine by the river. After a brief dip in the hot tub and some history channel we headed to Old Fort Point to see the 11:30pm fireworks (the sun sets late in Canada in the summer).

Doesn't get much better

7/2/14 - Jasper, AB

Today we went canoeing on Maligne Lake, had a picnic with a great view, took a nap, and had a fancy dinner where I decided to be old and have a dirty martini and a glass of merlot.

Gorgeous 

Gorgeous 

7/3/14 - Jasper, AB -> Banff, AB on the Icefields Parkway

While we were sad to leave the Alpine Village we were excited for some new views along the Icefields Parkway. When we made it to the Icefield itself, we decided to hike up to the base of the glacier and stretch our legs. Sights like these are always beautiful but sad when you realize where the glacier used to be just a few decades ago. After our brief pitstop we quickly headed to Banff and toured the town with an iced green tea in hand. We decided to check out the Fairmont and have a drink on the deck overlooking Mt. Rundle. After finishing up we realized the sky was turning so we quickly walked back to town and chose our dinner spot quickly to avoid getting wet. Overall a beautiful day.

7/4/14 - Banff, AB

Today we decided to up the "adventure" again and do a day hike around Mt. Edith via Cory pass. Ryan insisted on biking to the trailhead and after some convincing I agreed. At first the trail was very hot and strenuous but soon gave way to easier ground and great views. We made lots of noise to ensure we didn't have a bear encounter. We enjoyed a great lunch at the pass and began the descent around the other side. After a brief encounter with 4 goats we were on our way down the talus field back to the forest and done with the hike in 4 hours (not 7 like the ranger had said). We hopped back on our bikes and headed to dinner at The Bison, which had great food (for a steep price). Finally in bed by 11pm. 

7/5/14 - Banff, AB

We headed to Moraine lake, mostly to drop off our nice wine at the Post Hotel (for climate control) before heading to the backcountry, but also because we had a small hike in mind before beginning to pack. Sadly, we needed four people by law to do the hike, and while we weren't worried about grizzlies eating us we were worried about the $5,000 fine if we got caught as a party of 2. We tried to convince people it would be the best hike ever but no luck. After walking around the lake instead we headed back to Banff and started the packing process and grocery shopping. We were so much more weight conscious than we have been on previous trips. Success! Headed to dinner at Coyotes, had wine by Vermillion lakes, and went to bed.

Moraine Lake

Packing Up

Vermillion Lakes

Enjoying the views and the wine

7/6/14 - Banff, AB -> Bugaboo Provincial Park, BC

Now it was finally time for the real adventure to begin! After a week of eating, drinking, and lounging, we were ready to rough it a bit (although we still did a lot of eating and lounging as you will see below...because again...honeymoon). We grabbed a breakfast burrito at Coyotes (because it was that tasty the night before) and headed off through Kootenay Park. It wasn't long before we reached the long dirt road that would take us to the Bugaboos. The first views were impressive and intimidating. Upon arrival Ryan jumped out of the car with excitement not realizing this allowed a swarm, like a legit swarm, of mosquitos to enter the car. Realizing his mistake, he jumped back in, killed a few, and we decided to eat our sandwiches in the car. Note to self...when going to a new place always keep the bug spray SUPER handy. After exiting the car we soon located the bug juice and sprayed it EVERYWHERE. On us, on the car, on our pack. We double wrapped the car in chicken wire to ward off the porcupines that are known to eat radiator hoses and began the slog to camp. The trail was steep and we died a little inside. Luckily the weather was mild and the sun stayed behind the clouds. We made it to Kain Hut in ~3 hours and decided to take the extra 30 minutes to make it to Applebee Camp finishing the hardest 3.5 mile hike ever. Not one minute after we had the tent set up the downpour began. Seeing no end in sight we cooked pasta alfredo in the tent and went to bed. 

First Views

Staying Dry

7/7/14 - Bugaboos, BC - West Ridge, Pigeon Spire

Woke up at 5:30am ready to tackle our first objective. We were excited to be welcomed by great views and not a cloud in the sky. We were moving by 7 and made good time to the Bugaboo-Snowpatch Col where we got our first views of Pigeon Spire. Another 1.5 hours and we were to the base of the climb. We roped up and began simulclimbing with speed. It felt good to be moving fast on great rock. Sadly, close to the top we encountered some ice that slowed us down quite a bit. We debated for a long while about how to cross and if we should continue before finally committing. Of course, it wasn't as bad as our heads made us believe it would be. Soon after we were on the summit and pleased we did not decide to bail. We ate a leisurely lunch and rappelled twice before beginning the downclimbing. Although we were slower than we had hoped (mostly because of the ice) we still made it back to camp for Indian food with plenty of light.

7/8/14 - Bugaboos, BC - 1 pitch of McTech Direct and a glacier walk

We decided to go without an alarm and got another 11 hours of sleep, waking up at 8am. The sun was out and almost everyone else had already left camp. We arrived at the base of McTech with little trouble besides Ryan punching a hole in the ice and submerging his foot in icy waters. We roped up and Ryan grunted his way up the hard trad lead. Although we had high hopes for the day, the first pitch worked us and we just weren't feeling it. We decided to rappel and take the long way home. This time my foot got trapped in a big posthole requiring quite a bit of excavation. We were back to camp by 3:30 soaking in the sun and preparing ourselves for some actual adventure the next day. 

Approaching McTech

Preparing for the big day ahead

7/9/14 - Bugaboos, BC - Northeast Buttress, Bugaboo Spire

The alarm went off at 3am as we were determined to make it back to camp before dark. We ate breakfast in under an hour (which is fast for us) and began the 2 hour hike to the Bugaboo-Cresent col. After a bit of debate we settled on the most obvious path of least resistance (not as obvious in the dark as the book made it sound) and began scrambling up sloping ramps and chossy corners. We simuled a small snow patch before reaching pitch 1 at the same time as a group of 3.

Small snow patch and company

Luckily they let us go first and we quickly climbed the first 4 beautiful pitches of exposed 5.7. This was followed by 4-5 easy chimney pitches and a small and sketchy rappel before finally reaching the summit at ~2pm. 

Racking up

Getting close!

Starting the descent

The summit was amazing and only about 4-5ft across with sheer drops on either side. The sketchy rappel (that was news to us) allowed the party of 3 to catch us, which came in handy since they had done the descent a few days prior. The Kain route descent was full of rappels in strange directions and difficult route finding. The guidebooks weren't kidding when they said the ascent was less than half the battle. After numerous rappels, downclimbing, and a bit of hiking we were back at the Bugaboo-Snowpatch col. The descent of the steep snow was as slow as it had been 2 days prior and despite my best efforts to face forward a small slip and slide on the upper col kept me with my face to the snow moving inch by inch. We made it back to camp by 10pm (with light to spare), made dinner, and passed out at 11:30pm. Although exhausted, it was great to finally get a real adventure in. The climb was truly a classic and one of my favorite ridge climbs to date. 

7/10/14 - Bugaboos, BC - Eastpost Spire and Lounging

Today was another day for sleeping in and we woke up around 8:30am when the sun finally hit our tent and began to bake us. We slowly emerged and began making breakfast while chatting with our new neighbors from NC and our old neighbors Matt Segal and Will Stanhope. 

Views out of the tent - Snowpatch 

Tent from above

The NC crowd was heading up Eastpost Spire (scramble) and we though that sounded like a great idea. They headed off and we ended up not leaving camp until noon. We were easily at the summit by 12:30, ate lunch, and scrambled back to camp by 1:30pm. Then lounging ensued and it was glorious. 

This is luxury 

First we were treated to freshly baked cookies and cheesy bread by Matt, we read, we journaled, played chess, and just soaked in the views. It was basically like an afternoon at the beach with better views and no naked people. Soon enough it was time for dinner, followed by a trip to a nearby rock, and bed by 9pm when it got too cold to be outside.

7/11/14 - Bugaboo Provincial Park, BC -> Lake Louise, AB

We woke up early and eager to return to the sweet taste of All Dressed chips. The Bugaboos had been great but it was time to honeymoon again. After a quick breakfast and offloading of some of our remaining food we were off. The descent was much more painless than the ascent and we were back to the car in 2 hours with only 2 breaks. All Dressed chips were waiting and we took the bag down as we began the drive back down the dirt road, Bugaboos fading from sight. Once back to civilization we made a stop at a great coffee shop (Spill Bean) and drove to Lake Louise through Yoho National Park. Finally, we were at the Post Hotel and after a long lecture about how to find our room it was time for a shower. We enjoyed a fondue dinner and watched XMen before falling asleep.

In need of a shower

7/12/14 - Lake Louise, AB

Today was another lazy day and we woke up when we felt like it. We ate breakfast at the hotel before making the drive up to the Lake. Upon arrival we took about 5 minutes to check out the views before deciding we'd rather sit on our hotel porch with a bottle of wine. So, we went back to town, picked up some bread and cheese, and did just that. There was also a hot tub and a nap in there somewhere. Dinner was in the Post Hotel dining room and we made it a ~2.5 hour production. At the end of the meal we were also lucky enough to get a tour of the world famous wine cellar. Overall a great day and as Ryan says, "It's all about the dismount." We finished the night with a drink on the lawn as smoke clouds rolled in from the nearby forest fires. Looks like we timed leaving just perfectly. 

All in all we had a great mix of relaxation (maybe a majority relaxation) and adventure with just the right level of planning. I know we will be back to the Bugaboos with a bit more of a game face but I could not have asked for a more perfect honeymoon. 

Keith Flavelle Hut

Keith's Hut

3/22-3/24/14

Ryan and I had been planning to take a three-day weekend for spring break for a while now and decided that a hut trip in BC would be a good way to spend our time. We settled on Keith’s Hut north of Pemberton, BC and began the planning process. We decided we would make everything fit in our ~40L airbag packs and got the car ready to go. We left Seattle around 5:30 PM on Friday night and drove as fast as we could towards the border. Although it got late quickly, our excitement kept us going until we reached the Joffre Lakes Trailhead. We settled into the back of the car and were sleeping by midnight. We woke up in the morning to a mostly empty parking lot and gathered our stuff, hoping to beat the crowds to the hut and claim our space. The hike was easy and as the forest opened up we were sure the hut was just over the next rise. Since another party was at our heels, I told Ryan to trudge on and make it to the hut as fast as he could. After about 30 minutes I rounded a corner to see Ryan just standing there.

“You need to keep going!” I exclaimed.

“There is no need, I’ll tell you in a sec.”

I quickly met Ryan and learned that in fact there was no Keith’s hut in the drainage we were in…instead it was on the other side of a massive glacier to our left…

After wallowing in our sorrow, we decided to keep hiking (with all of our overnight gear) and get in a run called Heartstrings, since we were practically almost there. After learning we had hiked all this way and there was no hut in sight, our pace did slow but we finally made it to the ridge and below us was a beautiful open slope. We converted, had a small snack (we hadn’t had breakfast as we were waiting to get to the hut), and made our way down with tired legs. A bit of bushwhacking led us back to our skin track and we found ourselves at the car, 2 days earlier than we had originally planned, around 2pm. On the plus side this meant we got to eat a few more Trader Joe’s maple cookies before driving 4km down the road to the actual trailhead.

We had a lunch of sausage and cheese, a few more cookies, and by 3pm we were off again, this time hiking up the correct drainage (we double checked). The path was straightforward and relatively flat, but my legs were tired. I still felt that the hut must be around every single corner. As the forest thinned, we began to see huge lines all over the place covered with beautiful s-turns, so that excitement helped move me forward. A bit more hiking and we made it to the hut, filled with about 20 other people, by 6pm.

Everything's Getting Dry

I immediately put on my down booties (glorious) and got dinner out. I cannot explain how nice it is to hike all day and be welcomed by a warm fire. However, what is not nice is sharing a hut with a few guys who brought up steaks and sausage in a sled. After only one day out I was already craving something other than our bagged Indian food and rice!

The cabin began to stir around 7am and we were excited to get some fresh tracks. We moved quickly and were hiking towards the anniversary glacier by ~8:30am with the whole place to ourselves. Although Ryan wanted to ski the glacier proper, I was hesitant about conditions and convinced him to take a fresh line on the shoulder. There was an abundance of hoots and hollers and we decided to get another lap in before skiing off the glacier. We had our sausage and cheese again (which is probably still sitting on the glacier since we never saw it again for the rest of the trip) and made our way up to an open line we had spotted from below.

Heading Out to the Anniversary Glacier

Conditions were still sketchy (1-2ft shears with little effort) so we decided to pick the mellower slope of two options. Although terrified on the way up, I decided on the way down “this isn’t likely to slide, and if it does I might as well be having some fun!” I think those were some of the best turns of the year. Light, fluffy, and untracked. We had to do another lap before descending to the lower altitudes that were beginning to mush up a bit.

Fresh Tracks

Gearing Up for Round 2

Ryan Getting Fresh Tracks Round 2

Although more bowls remained to be skied, we decided that it was time to call it a day. We had had a good 8 hours after all. Back at the hut, Ryan worked on his wood chopping skills, and we imbibed in food and drink until others began to trickle in. The night was filled with great conversation and delightfully warm sleeping bags. Morning came too quickly and we decided to pack everything up and just take the run out in order to make it back to Seattle at a decent hour. There was a bit more bushwhacking, but we were back to the car by 11am and in Squamish enjoying a burger by 1pm.

Ryan is a Wood Chopping Pro

We will definitely be back to the BC huts. Falling asleep in a down sleeping bag next to a warm fire and waking up to acres and acres of fresh lines are definitely two of life’s greatest joys.

One of Life's Greatest Joys

Recent Escapades

Well, it seems this winter every time we go looking for adventure we find the wrong kind. The season has been full of forced retreats, minimal snow, and lots of bushwacking.

1/12 - The week after Pickhandle the Cascades picked up some snow. With a new dusting on top of an old ice sheet though, conditions weren't super safe. We decided to head to Yodelin and ski some low angle slopes and trees. We thought that since the hike wasn't so long we would get a late start and sleep in a little. Note to self...do not attempt to drive on Hwy 2 after a dumping if you leave Seattle after 6:30am. We hit traffic immediately after Monroe when the road becomes 1 lane snaking through small mountain towns. We contemplated turning around many times but somehow kept convincing ourselves that it would be worth it. However, as we approached the pass it only got worse and we soon saw a number of cars heading in the opposite direction. Still we pushed on only to find a massive backup and chaos. The pass had been closed and was expected to stay that way for at least 2 hours. So much for those powder turns. We decided we couldn't just drive straight back to Seattle, so we put on our skis and hiked up a random road hoping to find some turns. However, when the road turned into a massive snow melt creek, we decided we had milked the day for all it was worth and turned our skis around back to the car.

1/26 - Two weeks later, we thought long and hard about where we wanted to spend our weekend. We discussed taking the time to practice mountaineering skills on the massive ice sheet that still was only growing larger and deeper as the snowless weeks continued. I mentioned hiking to a peak that is often skiable off of I-90, but Ryan wasn't too stoked on that idea. Instead, he got it into his head that Mt. Townsend, which we hiked last summer, could be a good ski descent. So, we decided to catch the 6am ferry to the peninsula, skis and hiking boots packed, prepared for whatever the conditions would be. 

The ferry was a great call. A super early start is better when you can lie down and take a 30min nap on a comfy couch. When we reached Bainbridge, it was still dark and we drove through the fog to Mt. Townsend. As we gained elevation, the fog melted away and the sun finally came out. Hurray inversion! We reached the turn off, and similar to the summer time, proceeded to doubt our path as we went further into the forest. Despite our concerns, we were on the right track and soon reached the trailhead. Although there was some snow on the road, it was mostly an easy drive and felt surprisingly like springtime. About 5 minutes after we parked the car and started putting skis on our packs (just in case), two CR-Vs rolled up. They were there to hike, and one told us that a week ago there was no snow up top. So, seeing as there hadn't been any new snow since then, I convinced Ryan to leave the skis behind so we could go light and fast. 

It certainly did not feel like January! After about 20 minutes of hiking, both Ryan and I had taken our pants off and were hiking in long underwear! The trail was just as it had been in the summertime with only a few more patches of snow and ice. We reached the top quickly and were excited to find that we had gorgeous views. In one plane we could spot Rainier, Adams, Helens, Glacier, and Baker, and we had it all to ourselves for part of the time.

Exhibit A

Exhibit B

It was gorgeous and good to be above the inversion. The hike down was fast and we felt lucky we had gotten an early start as we passed a TON of people. We decided to drive around on the way back so we could stop at Taylor Shellfish and pick up some oysters for a dinner appetizer. 

Above the Inversion

Above the Inversion

Olympics

Olympics

2/1 - With two ski-less weekends behind us and another new round of snow, we decided to head to Yodelin again, but this time with an earlier start. We reached the trailhead traffic free and full of our favorite breakfast sandwich from Sultan Bakery. We were the first to hit the trail and made our way quickly to the open 20 degree slope for our first run. Minimal scraping, moderate powder. We quickly converted and hiked back up for a run in the trees. A bit icier, but still some great powder pockets. Back up again to a new tree section. Even more powder followed by a lot of bushwhacking to get back down. One last hike up to ski out down the road. Not the most exciting day in the backcountry and plenty crowded, but better than not skiing!

It's Deep!

2/9 - Ok, ok. So now the snow really started falling. Like...it snowed in Seattle. So, we knew that this was prime conditions for a good day. Again though, conditions out on open slopes weren't super stable, so we tried to identify a good tree run. Last year we had skied a great avalanche chute in the Chiwaukums, but clearly that was out of the question. However, on that same trip we had had a great second lap in the trees. So, we headed back out Hwy 2 (again with an early start) with high hopes. The skinning was slow, as we had to break trail through a few inches of new snow on a never-ending road. Coverage looked minimal, which got me worried, but we were still low down so conditions were likely to change. That being said, each step was so light and fluffy, so it was good motivation to keep moving. There were many snack breaks and we even caved for lunch before reaching the top of our expected run.  When we finally reached our tree run from the previous year, we felt that we needed to keep exploring. Sadly, 5 minutes later we were peering out over a large cliff at the end of the road, so back to the old run it was! We dropped in to perfectly spaced trees and knee deep powder! This is what we had been searching for! There were a few whoops and hollers and big smiles. Just as we were getting into our rhythm, the buried stumps, rocks, and branches began to peek through. A few more turns were made before fallen trees crisscrossed our fall line, forcing us to hike. There was a decent amount of bushwhacking...through devil's club...but we finally made it back to the road and were able to ski almost all of the way out. We decided we needed to get a few more turns in, so on the drive back we stopped at Skyline Ridge across from Steven's, raced our way up to the top of the open, tracked out bowl, and made a few more turns. The snow was definitely better in the Chiwaukums, so it seemed as if we had made the right decision after all. While we are still waiting for our 1000ft uninterrupted ski run for the season, things are definitely looking up with more snow on the way and a few more turns behind us.

The Long Road

Bushwhacking Through Devil's Club


Pickhandle Basin

Finally, we got some snow! Not much, but with the season going as it has been, Ryan and I knew we had to take advantage of any opportunity we got. Besides our Rock Mountain trip we have had one other outing to Paradise in Rainier National Park, but that turned into the worst day of skiing we have ever had with a bulletproof, bowling ball surface covering the mountain. We turned around before we even got to the heart of the climb and proceeded to side slip our way down the scary 20 degree ice slope back to our car defeated.

So...we were ready to go this past weekend and get some good turns in. Since we still were't positive about conditions and figured coverage down low would be patchy, we decided to head back to Pickhandle Basin (where we have skied before) and get some laps in. We drove to Crystal Mountain under a clear blue sky, which offered us views we never knew existed. 

Bluebird

The line to the parking lot was long but we got a spot and began to pack our packs. We quickly skinned up the road and were soon trudging through the forest with another skier heading to Pickhandle as well. The going was slow as the skinning involved multiple tree stump navigations and lots of slippery slopes. We soon reached forest with a bit more snow but it was definitely dust on crust. Let's just say...the skinning was better than Rainier but not the best I've ever experienced. There were definitely a few points where I was tired of sliding and chose to posthole up the icier sections. Either way though...we will take what we can get!

Finally, after a lot of trudging we reached the ridge and luckily we still had dust on crust (and not just crust). We converted and got in a few great turns! We hiked up again to ski another round of fresh tracks. Ryan gained the ridge but I decided instead to veer off to the left and avoid the icy section up top. While I don't regret this decision, I definitely could have used a flatter surface to convert on. It took me quite awhile to stabilize my skis. Eventually I was ready and got in a few more fresh turns. Smiles were big.

Although the skiing was decent, we decided it did not warrant another conversion and it was time to ski down. We made our way through the trees and ran into our uphill tracks. There were a few boot packing sections and definitely some butt sliding down the icy bits but we regained the road and finished on Crystal's closed ski run. Minimal coverage but still some great additional turns. We ended the day with a latte and a soda and a wagon ride back to our car. All in all it was a good, mellow day and we got in some great turns.

Last turns after emerging from the backcountry

Ryan skis to the base 

Rock Mountain

Sunday, November 17th marked the first official ski day of the 2013-2014 season! A winter advisory had been in effect since Friday night and all of the local resorts decided to open up on Saturday after the storm dumped 1-2 feet in most places. After surveying the weather and the 24 hour snow accumulation, Ryan and I settled on Rock Mountain a bit east of Steven's Pass. This peak is popular among backcountry travelers but we had yet to experience it for ourselves. The tour is about 10 miles with 4,200 ft of elevation gain and equivalent loss, which is quite a bit for the first day out of the season! 

The day began with an early morning alarm and of course a 15 minute snooze. It is hard to motivate when it is still so dark outside (and after a poor sleep due to watching Breaking Bad and dreaming about it all night). By about 7:30am we were finally on the road a bit later than planned but not too bad. Our first stop was Sultan Bakery for the best breakfast sandwich on earth. It was just as good as we remembered. Soon we were gaining elevation and all of a sudden it was winter in the Cascades. It had  really dumped over the last few days! We found the trailhead relatively easily and parked behind two cars...hurray for not having to break trail!

The skin track up the mountain was great and although coverage was thin on the bottom of the mountain we were able to skin all the way up from the car. The snow was coming down hard, so the rain shells stayed on all day and we were glad we decided to wear our Gore-tex pants. For the most part the pitch was pretty mild and the skinning was uneventful. We had an awesome snack of last night's teriyaki salmon about half way up and when we reached the ridge line the snow was nice and deep. Surprisingly enough the snow was also a bit unstable (which NWAC had warned about at higher elevations) and we saw two minor natural slides. This made us glad we had picked a mostly treed line. Even an early season dump can be dangerous. Towards the summit we were passed by the two other parties on their descent, which confirmed we were not alone on the mountain. We ate the other half of our breakfast sandwiches, converted, and began the downhill portion of the day.

Ridge Line Trees and Skin Track

The snow was wet and heavy but hey...we were still out skiing. We got in about 15 turns before beginning the ridge traverse in the opposite direction. The traverse consisted of short, fast spurts followed by directing a ski into the deep snow to slow down periodically. When we finally made it back to our ascent route there were a few more turns to be had but we quickly reached a point where the coverage was too thin. After hitting two rocks and falling over in a tangled mess each time, I finally pulled off the skis and began the hike down (after struggling in the snow for about 5 minutes trying to get my feet in a natural direction and get my ski off). The hiking was actually a lot of fun when the snow coverage was still decent at higher elevations. You take one step, slide on the underbrush, repeat. It sort of resembles skiing... and it was definitely faster than hiking down a dirt covered trail. Eventually though we reached a point at which there was maybe only a half inch of snow cover and then the pain of walking in ski boots set in. Just as we caught a glimpse of the road the rain began too. NOAA had said 4pm...it was 3pm...lesson learned. We finally reached Highway 2 quite soaked but very happy to have a day out in the mountains with a few good turns. Can't wait to see what the rest of the season brings!