Monday, February 15, 2010

Traveling to winter

Lately in the valley it seems like...spring. The snow lies in unambitious patches, the temperatures reach into the fifties. In my adopted ski crowd, this is unthinkable and wrong. For them, it could easily stay winter all year long.

Today I set out to find winter again. I knew it was up there, could see it lurking high on the peaks. At the trailhead, ice coated the tread, forcing the donning of Katoohlas (Brief aside: the best shoe grippers ever). As I traveled through the switchbacks, mushy snow appeared. Two miles in, it was deeper. If I stepped off the skier trail, I sank deep in unconsolidated snow.

Stubbornly I refused to put on my snowshoes although it became apparent that the going would be easier with them. I trudged on, past the bridge, past the lunch rock, past the small frozen pond, to arrive at Aneroid Lake.

Here it is still winter. The lake sleeps under a blanket of ice. Snow drifts peacefully over the campsites, crowded in summer, resting now. It will be winter here for a long time still.

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