Monday, January 28, 2013

A snowy weekend at Little Jimmy Campground


Since visiting Little Jimmy last September, I wondered how this place would look when covered in snow.  I had planned this trip in my mind for quite sometime and I finally had the time to come back and visit.

Before the trip, there were a few items I needed to purchase in order to do this trip.  I needed traction devices for my shoes and long gaiters.  These items proved necessary for a comfortable hike to the camp.

Saturday morning, the 26th, I arrived at Islip Saddle and began my hike to Little Jimmy at 10:45 AM.  I was joined by some friends and we were greeted by a heavy fog and a chilly wind.  My last temp check said 34 degrees.

Looking at the trail, it did not look like there would be snow.  Previous weeks provided us with warmer weather and I was expecting the snow to be low...I will soon find out that I was mistaken.

After walking a few hundred yards, we start to see snow...

Before heading up any further, I decide to put on my traction devices so I don't have to deal with them later on.  A quick look to my left, you can see what I call the meadow with a view...and what a view it is.

Once we head to the tree line, we soon discover that the snow is quite deeper than expected and we wished that we had snowshoes.  The deep snow made this trek a little more difficult due to post-holing.

A long way down! The snow on the first mile made this already narrow trail a tad narrower.  We definitely needed to focus where we planted our feet and make sure to tread lightly.  The snow was soft and slippery from the recent rains we've had.

Snowshoes...what I would've given for some on this trip.

This is a good representation of how narrow the trail has become.  A quick slip and you'll be sliding down all the way to Hwy 2.

Reaching the midway point, I feel safer now.  From this point on, the trail is pretty straight forward  flat, and wide.  However, it would still be a challenge having only traction devices and no snowshoes.  From the photo below, you can see what the remaining trail would be like.  At some portions, snow was almost thigh deep.

Almost at camp, the weather was sunny at one point but fog quickly rolled in.  However, the temperatures were comfortable and the wind wasn't too bad.  From the photo below, me hauling Golite Jam 50 loaded with a full tent and other essentials.  My total pack weight for this weekend was at 16.4 lbs. not counting the 20 oz. of water.

Finally arriving at the camp, tired but not beaten, do not underestimate the snow.  It's like walking on sand, if not, worse.

After arriving and resting, we setup our tents and hammocks.  Forecast called for evening rain and snow.  We were, however, lucky to have enjoyed the evening with clear skies and a full moon.  Rain didn't come until 3:00 AM and snow didn't come until 9:00 AM.

After getting settled, we all chatted about the trail and talked about what most hikers talk about...FOOD!

This evening, there would be no fire.  It was unfortunate to find everything wet and no available least not enough to dry out the logs we found.  We all instead, head to our tents, warm up in our bags and holler at one another while inside our shelters.

I woke up around 6:00 AM the following morning and decided to pack up quick.  There were gaps in between rain and snow.  I didn't want to risk my gear to get wet aside from my tent.  Here's a quick video of the camp in the morning.

I didn't get a chance to prepare breakfast because I wasn't that hungry.  I instead warmed some water for coffee...while snow fell.  It was nice...nothing like a warm cup of coffee while it's snowing.

After breakfast, we all headed down the mountain hiking back at our own pace...everyone safe back to our cars.  Ending another weekend adventure...till the next one.