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Winter Camping Old Ranger style

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Winter Camping Old Ranger style

Postby oldranger » Thu Feb 04, 2016 2:21 pm

As I reach the late fall of my outdoor life I have come to the realization that there are some things I can no longer do (ski the avalanche chutes on Dragon Tail at Mammoth, or negotiating the nasty talus on the north side of Thunder ridge (see Rogues account http://www.highsierratopix.com/community/viewtopic.php?f=31&t=8462)which I did several times in the 80s) and some things I have done, can still do but choose not to (hike or ride a horse in the dark plus an activity that will soon become obvious. Couple days ago Kathy announced that we should spend the night up at Paulina Lake. So Tuesday evening we loaded our packs in preparation for a visit to the winter wonderland. We reached the TH/parking lot about 11:30 AM and Kathy immediately tweaked her back but insisted on carrying on. Two hours later we reached our "campsite."
Ourcamp.jpg
Roughing it!
It had a woodstove for heat and a refrigerator to keep the beer cold (since temperature never exceeded 31 kind of unnecessary).
Kitchen.jpg
Kitchen
. We also were force to suffer a hot shower!
IMG_1377.jpg
Shower!
The evening was spent reading and ….. :unibrow: On the way out, though it was snowy, we had some interesting views.
Paulina Lake.jpg
Paulina Lake
Paulina Falls.jpg
Paulina Falls
All in all we were two "happy campers."
Intrepid duo.jpg
Intrepid Duo


Background: Back in May of 83 (a giant snow year) I spent the night with Alden Nash and Walt Hoffman, now retired SEKI Rangers, in a park service Cabin buried in snow at Devils Post Pile. Alden asked, "Do you ever snow camp?" At the time I hadn't. Alden then said, "I don't understand it. The days are short and you spend most of the time pretending you are warm." We'll being relatively young at the time I had to try it and when I did and I agreed with Alden!
Mike

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Re: Winter Camping Old Ranger style

Postby maverick » Thu Feb 04, 2016 2:51 pm


The evening was spent reading and ….. :unibrow:

:lol:

Like the shots, especially the frozen parts of the waterfalls. :)
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Re: Winter Camping Old Ranger style

Postby dave54 » Thu Feb 04, 2016 5:04 pm

I too have been forced to accept the inevitable. I no longer tolerate the cold like I used to (however, I am more tolerant of hot weather, there are tradeoffs). So winter camping has changed.

I am posting this from inside my RV somewhere off Hwy 50 east of Pollock Pines. Temp outside is 48 with snow patches all around at about 4000 feet. Heater is going, dinner is on the stove. Will watch some DVDs later.
We do a lot of day hiking this time of year and return to the creature comforts each evening. Sleeping in the snow no longer interests me. Been there done that in my youth. Now I am content to leave it to the young'uns. Summer is my backpacking time.
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Re: Winter Camping Old Ranger style

Postby Tom_H » Fri Feb 05, 2016 12:14 pm

I am in the same boat. I did winter trips in the Appalachians, Rockies, and Sierra. Each had very differing snow conditions. My own experience was that cleats were best in the east, backcountry Nordic skis in the Rockies, and snowshoes in the Sierra. I found it exhilarating in so many ways. So physically demanding, so quiet, such stark beauty, the absolute solitude, the need to depend upon each other to survive in a small group, the obvious lessons of what is important in life, that everything you need to survive in life, even in such demanding conditions, can be carried on your back, and that so much of the physical stuff as well as the emotional baggage we carry in life is completely extraneous.

Nowadays it puts my back in great pain just to sleep on nice flat ground in the summer, and it is not an enjoyable pain like the winter trips. I don't know how many more summer trips I have in me, but when I think back on all the trips I have done, it is the winter trips that mean the most, simply because it felt like we had successfully accomplished something that was so hard.
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Re: Winter Camping Old Ranger style

Postby cmon4day » Fri Feb 05, 2016 8:15 pm

OR,

Looks like you hit it just right. The snow conditions look outstanding.

Years ago I had an opportunity to stay at the Glacier Point Ranger Cabin. Sure beats sleeping on the snow.

Photo 13 of 36.jpg
Skiing to the cabin


Photo 34 of 36.jpg
Morning cup of coffee
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Photo 14 of 36.jpg
View from kitchen window
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Re: Winter Camping Old Ranger style

Postby ERIC » Fri Feb 05, 2016 9:23 pm

OMG, that kitchen window view is awesome.
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Re: Winter Camping Old Ranger style

Postby Cross Country » Sat Feb 06, 2016 11:26 am

You guys are real "mountain men". In my 30s my last trip of the year was in the middle of October at the Kern River (5400') and I would complain about the short daylight hours and the too cold mornings. I would be in my tent for 11-12 hours. I was a LOT tougher then than when I BPed in my 60s but was a real sissy compared to you guys.
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Re: Winter Camping Old Ranger style

Postby oldranger » Sun Feb 07, 2016 9:10 am

C4D

Trip to GP has been on my list for years. That view from the kitchen is to die for!

Mike
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