Saturday, May 21, 2011
Deep Deep Snow and Misty Cold Conditions.
After of glimmer of hope that Spring was here - the weather today was disappointing. Craig, Liza, Marla, Neil and I did a car drop at Cleveland Dam and drove to Nelson Creek to start our adventure for today. It was raining lightly with hope that it would clear - not! I haven't been on this section of trail for a year and forgot how peaceful it is. The weather was very humid for the climb up Black Mountain - I overheard Neil say is this rain/mist or am I really sweating? We were wet! Once at the top of the Bluffs we stopped for a bite to eat and to put on our Yak Tracks and gaiters knowing from the previous weekend the snow we were about to get into. In one week the snow had receded a few feet. It was softer on top and we started off post holing - it was tough going. The snow would vary and at times we could ride across the top and then a few steps later we were sliding and falling deep with each step. With our bodies touching the snow and the mist in the air I really started to feel wet. My feet and hands were numb. My core started to feel cold but I could push the pace and warm up my body but really could not get my feet out of the frozen solid stage. I kept moving and stayed up front - quite anti-social but very concerned how frozen my feet were. Once we arrived at Cypress I decided to call it quits as my clothes were soaked and I couldn't warm up. Liza decided she had enough as well (4 hours). Neil asked a complete stranger (though respectful looking!) if he was going back down the hill and could give Liza and I a ride. He agreed and was a very nice man from Calgary - his son was in a hockey tournament here and he decided to go for a drive up the mountain. It was so misty he couldn't see a thing. Our ride down the hill was a little scary as the fog was pretty thick and it was difficult to see. He very kindly drove us back to our cars at Cleveland Dam. I changed into some dry clothes - my gaiters were full of snow! Liza drove me back to our car where we started. I knew I had a couple of hours before Neil, Craig and Marla would arrive at Cleveland Dam so picked up a few groceries etc...I was just about to have a nap in the car when they arrived! Highlights of the day were shared over some food and drink at the Black Bear. My fingers are still tingly as I type this - very borderline conditions for hypothermia for me today.