Sunday, April 8, 2012

RMNP Ski Tour March Day 1

Kate loaded up and ready to go
We came in from Grand Lake via the North Inlet trail. Thankfully the backcountry permit application is free in the off season, so it didn't cost us anything to camp for the weekend. However, we did have to pick the permit up from the backcountry office where they made sure to doom and gloom us about the conditions. Not that they were wrong, we did find lots of down trees and a fair bit of rotten snow down low, but they always seem to blow it out of proportion.

Tim happy taking a break in the sun
We got started late, around 11:30 and were in the sneakers for the first 3 miles. Once we got to the falls we changed to skis with the sneakers strapped on the pack. We didn't get too far this day, camping near the foot bridge campsite. Thankfully Kate busted through the snow and ice to get running water and we had an easy spot to pitch the tent.
Kate blocking the road with her big load

The packs were a challenge this day. It was Kate's first time using my Cilogear 45L pack and I had forgotten the framesheet with aluminum stay at home. This made it very difficult to get the load to transfer onto the hipbelt properly, not to mention it was not packed well to transfer the load. A few miles into the hike I took the pack and repacked it, making sure to place the avvy probe and tent poles along the back to give more rigidity, and making sure to evenly stuff the body of the pack. This helped considerably, but still it was significantly more painful to carry the same load as my Cold Cold World Chaos. I'd been wanting to get a CCW pack for years and finally picked this one up used in anticipation of this trip. It carried the heavy loads admirably(we both enjoyed when we got to carry this pack on the approach and exit) and worked well as a daytrip ski pack while we were in the park.

All terrain skinning

We were breaking trail and route finding at times after we changed to skis, but for the most part everything went to plan(except for making about 2 miles less than planned)

Some interesting wood grain

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