Sunday, October 18, 2020

Glamping

 As I headed up the Hill of Death, I was aware of two things: carrying five liters of water was still totally doable, and my winter boots were no longer waterproof.

I was enroute to the ski hut to do some maintenance, and I figured I might as well stay the night. Even though I would be staying in the hut, it still seemed to count as a backpacking trip, since I was carrying all of my stuff. It would be...backpacking glamping.

In winter, the trail is fairly obvious. It splits into two routes, the winter and the summer trails. In winter, the summer trail is sometimes scoured clean by the high winds that always blast this mountain. In contrast, the winter trail winds through deep woods and is always full of snow. Either way, it is a slog, though considerably easier without snowshoes (or skis, but I am not a good enough skier to descend the Hill of Death, so I don't try).

In summer, the trail is a little more obscured, and I congratulated myself when I found the crux move, an unmarked turn off the ridge, a short climb across a two-track road, and then another climb to the next ridge. This was followed by a traverse across a steep slope, the place where the winds will get you if you aren't careful. Today, though, it wasn't bad.

Today the climb seemed easy, even with the water weight. In winter, there is snow to melt, but not now. Except there was. A thin blanket of snow lay on the roof edge, and Spruce quickly jumped into it. Avoiding his area, I scraped some snow into a couple of pots for melting. 

The hut had held up well over the summer, and the only work I needed to do was split wood. That is a task that I find oddly satisfying, so I didn't mind that previous visitors hadn't replenished the supply. I ate a wrap and stoked the fire as a strong wind buffeted the hut. This wouldn't have been a good night for tent camping.

This wouldn't be considered glamping for very many people, but it was luxurious to not have the typical camp chores (filter water! Set up tent!) and to be warm with a fire in the stove. The dogs, despite having a whole cabin and not a measly tent, settled comfortably on my sleeping pad, refusing to share. 

A strange warm front blew through in the night, bringing rain and snow to the mountains above. Whenever I am at this hut, I start to daydream about living up here. I think about the route I would take far down to the stream, to carry up enough water to survive. How I'd carve out a running route through the trees. It's fun to think about.








14 comments:

  1. What a neat cabin! Doing maintenance and checking up on it would be a total pleasure! I love that the dogs are so used to tents that they settled next to you! (Ok, they are probably that way at home also aren’t they??? Lol)

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    Replies
    1. Yes, they are cuddlers, but it did take some persuading at first!

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  2. I would have the same daydreams being up there. What a great looking 'hut'!
    It's still 70's here in the daytime and 40's at night, but only for a few more days, then it's supposed to plummet and we have a chance of snow on Friday (when we plan to drive 4 hours to pick up a puppy!).

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    Replies
    1. PUPPY! Exciting! This is the hut on Redmont (above Salt Creek summit) that is for club members.

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  3. Cabin living is so fun. I too daydream about making my home in a dry cabin far off the grid in Interior Alaska, but such a permanent lifestyle would be hard. And I'd miss long-distance biking. And I would start to go stir crazy with no Internet and being cut off from all information from Outside. But it is fun to dream.

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    Replies
    1. Dogs in bed space....well, at least they keep you warmer! I think Ruby is co-dependent now; probably Spruce has a different pack leader, but is willing to keep you around. Night at the hut sounds good!

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    2. I have thought the same thing about a cabin off the grid. I think being off the internet would be good for me. But I would miss backpacking, so there is that.

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    3. They are warmer than the alternative, but not so much if they keep stealing your sleeping pad!

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  4. Now that would be my kind of winter camping! Your dogs are so cute!

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    Replies
    1. Every year I tell myself I will learn to enjoy winter camping (in a tent). Every year, I don't enjoy it.

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  5. Hi Mary, it really feels nice to spend a night or a few in a remote cabin doesn't it? I have lived in remote cabin for many years and I could not ever bring myself to living in a residential area. Nor could I live in a big house, it would seem a waste to me. As far as Winter camping I still do it at my age although now, I have a tent with a woodstove. It makes it better in those temps. going down to -40 degrees. I bought an Eskimo ice shelter and added a stove jack to it and I love it. This shelter sets up in a few min. and comes down as soon. Ibet you get a real good feeling when you are in a cabin far away from town. Thanks for sharing.

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  6. I'm far too old for any winter camping, either tent or cabin but I sure do enjoy your efforts to do so. To wake up to that pristine snowy view would be magical.

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