|Legore Lake, highest lake in the state. You have to work to get here.|
I slid on the snowfield, wondering if I had reached the line. You know the one: it divides pushing yourself beyond what is comfortable and what, actually, isn't very smart. Some people never learn this line, and get in trouble over and over again. Some people don't get very close to it, and never learn what they can achieve.
I knew I could climb up this snowfield, but I wasn't sure about getting down. It was steep and angled right toward some rocks. You could pick up a lot of speed if you fell. It probably wasn't a YFYD* snowfield, though. I made a bargain with myself: I'd climb to the basin, and if the remaining trail to the lake was covered in snow, I would turn back. When I pulled myself to the lip of the basin, a mostly snow-free path waited.
|Lookin' over at the Lostine drainage over the saddle.|
I've been to this lake, the highest lake in Oregon, a handful of times, and each time I tell myself I won't ever go again. The trail is a nasty mess of eroded pebbles, and there's no breaks, just a steep climb, 4,000 feet in as many miles. It's easy to face plant, and you are reduced to a slow trudge.
I keep going back, though. I've never seen another person at the lake, and it's a peaceful little place, under snow most of the year. On June 25th, it is still partially frozen. I have never encountered the infamous boulder field in this much snow, and while it eliminated the tedious picking through shifty rocks, I'm not a big fan of the uncontrolled slide.
But still. This was a time when bumping up against that imaginary line worked. The climb down the snowfield wasn't as bad as I feared, and I even glissaded a little. The mountains were big and deserted, everyone else choosing to stroll to a waterfall on a level trail. I love it when things work out like this.
|Looking down the boulder (snow) field. Yikes!|
|Whew! Made it.|
*You Fall, You Die.
Guys! I don't talk much about my books on this site--I have another one, http:\\maryemerick.com for that purpose. But this news is so huge I must share it. My second book just got accepted by a New York publishing house. I never thought I would get one book published, much less two. This one is a memoir about fighting fire from Florida to Alaska. I don't really fight fire anymore--just help at the helibase--because it just isn't the same as it used to be. But those times were some of the best of my life. I can't wait to see it in print.