A large group of Island Mountain Ramblers and guests assembled in the parking lot of Raven lodge, mid-morning of January 7th. The wind in the parking lot was frigid and the thermometer in my car read temperatures close to -10 C. In keeping with many of the family/novice snowshoe trips I lead, I took a long time getting my seld ready.
It was already 11 am when we took our first steps on the well-broken route. Our goal was to travel the summer route to Helen Mackenzie. The snow was in near perfect conditions for the sled, it glided nearly effortlessly over the flats. As we descended into Paradise Meadows the trees cut the wind and we were finally able to enjoy the blue bird sky. Walking along the route Hemingway frequently quipped, “be careful!” As we walked the route the sun pierced the trees and put everyone in great spirits.
At the lake we stopped to eat our lunch. The wind was brutal, and a few of us took refuge behind the hill. I took the chance to dig a promised snow cave for my son. he had asked for one two weeks earlier and I was fulfilling the promise. The cave was only miniature, but so is he!
Because the snowshoeing conditions were so fine we found a beaten track leading off toward Battleship Lake. We followed it and made our way back along this second lake. The route meandered across the lake and through the meadows before ending in a maze of tracks that would eventually lead us to the lodge.
It was an enjoyable day for everyone, though, I’m anticipating the day when Hemingway can walk the entire distance!