Sunday, May 1, 2016

Snow Day

It's basically summer in the valley, so D. and J. and I had to find some snow.

Not really! We weren't sure what we'd find as we started up the trail to Scalplock Lookout in Glacier Park.  I eyed the snowshoes attached to our packs skeptically, but it would be better to not need them than to turn around not having them.  You never know what nearly 7000 feet elevation will be like this time of year.

We climbed steadily through the forest.  It was a glorious day, but nobody else was on the trail.  When we made it to the snow at about 6500', it was solid enough to walk across.

The lookout was shuttered for the winter.  Staples still clung to the catwalk, a reminder of last summer, when it was wrapped in silver to protect it from the fires in the valley below.  In about 60 days, the person assigned to this lookout will be moving in, home for the season.  For now, the lookout slept, surrounded by a blanket of snow.

The snowshoes stayed on my pack.  We left the lookout to its dreams, and moved down through the snowfields and into the dry forest, back across the suspension bridge toward home.
A sign says One Hiker Only On Bridge
These are the moments I remember when it's deep into fire season: days with friends on the top of a mountain, a trail winding along a ridge, sunshine and laughter.

9 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. I bet you and Jason would like hiking out west!

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  2. Wonderful....felt as if I were right there in the sun and the mountains. Glad you had a "diamond day."

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  3. Beautiful! I like hiking on the snow in spring - and sometimes summer here in the Cascades.

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    1. I do too! I think that's why I like alpine climbing so much.

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  4. The bridge and the warning sign would make me very nervous! How long does someone live in the lookout? Is he or she alone?

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    1. Someone is up there from about the beginning of July until sometime in September. They usually work 10 days on and 4 days off unless there are a lot of fires, so he or she will hike down for days off. The bridge swayed a lot with one person on it! On the way back we saw four people get on it at once!

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