We followed a set of wolf tracks for many miles. Big paws, as large as my hand. It was a long ski, but with plenty of snack and water breaks. We took a long lunch, lounging by the small fire we built in the burn. The last couple of hours was a zombie ski. I was tired; it was way past my bedtime.The moon was clear, hanging over the ridge directly to our right. I moved along steadily, completely fascinated by the shadows of the dead trees crossing the trail. The shadows were so crisp, you could hardly tell the trees from their shadows.
There is a sign giving milages .25 miles from the cabin. I had a second wind and skated fast, on my way to a warm bunk (I had planned to sleep outside, but it's not as fun by yourself + windy). It was 0 degrees F inside and out, but I had my good sleeping bag, my puffy pants, my reindeer skin inside my bag, and two pairs of wools socks with fresh toe warmers in between. So I was cozy...... until I woke up at 4 or 5am panicking I was so hot. The boys had built a fire for the morning before they went to bed, but just HAD to light it on fire.... the cabin was probably 80+ in only a few hours, with minimal wood. the stoves in the BLM cabins are v. efficient, it was still cozy warm in the morning. that was nice, but it was miserable hot in the meantime. i wonder if they learned their lesson....Oliver was sleeping in the loft which must have been a sauna....literally...there was a pot of water boiling on the stove all night.
Saturday was sunny. Brittany and I explored the lake in front of the cabin and the ridge behind it. We picked up on the wolf tracks again until they disappeared toward the top of the severely windblown ridge. A flock of ptarmigan whooshed over the ridge in front of us. It was terribly windy, so we went back to the cabin for tea and chocolate. Saturday night, Chris and Corrina joined us. It was lovely to have them. I made a no bake cherry cheesecake that we all enjoyed; yum.
The ski back was lovely. It started in the morning with mist over the hills. The mist burnt up in the sun, but left all the trees frosty and glittering. The ski out took us only 6hrs, including break stops and another long lunch. The trail was for the most part slightly downhill and flat all the way back, much more than I realized skiing in. I remember skiing along a windblown ridge thinking that this snow was strange, with hardly any glide.....actually, that was gravity. Nice smooth ski all the way back (It took us about 8hrs to ski in, a little slow but comfortable). It was colder than we realized, -18F at the trailhead. I sat down on my skin and changed my socks immediately, putting in toe warmers and my Nuptses. We stopped at Hilltop for pie/cheeseburgers/halibut on the way back home. I still didn't make it back in time to catch a shower.