Wood Camp Ski/Snowshoe, 16 February, 2020
The forecast was for a rain/snow mix, yet nine hardy souls decided to risk going out in it: Dave W, Jane, Brent, Tawnya, Jesse, Susan, Michelle, Kathy, and Dave P (leader). The Daves brought skis and the others snowshoes. We were able to get our vehicles up the icy but short road from the highway to the trailhead. The weather was overcast with light graupel that made a pretty white dusting on the trees. The warm weather of the previous week was followed by enough cold to make an unbreakable crust and an inch or two of fresh snow. These conditions were OK for climbing with skis.
We got a bit sweaty climbing in the above-freezing temperature. Fortunately we found a lunch spot out of the wind so damp clothes didn’t chill us. After lunch most of the group went up to the nearby spring, which was ice free from the flow of relatively warm ground water, and in fact the tufa around the spring was about three feet below the snow on the trail.
On the way back the graupel transitioned to wet sleet and the amount increased along with wind in our faces. This made challenging conditions especially for the skiers who fell as a result of the poor visibility and icy crust. If we were spending the night we would have needed to build a fire to dry out, but instead we jumped into the cars and let the heaters take care of us.
Thanks to Dave P. for the narrative, Jane and Tawnya for photos and Dave W. for photos and GPS data