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Devils Peak Snow Backpacking and Shelter Building

Kipp Bajaj, Mark Barnard and myself headed to the access road at 8am. After over an hour of driving in deep snow we managed to make it one and maybe a half of the two miles to the trail head. We came prepared for this possibility due to a well timed trip the previous weekend by SAC member Gregg Huld.

We hit the trail head shortly after ten am and hiked through a few miles of wet snow in a heavily forested area. (Thank you Gregg for breaking a fair amount of it the week before) As we gained the upper ridge, we found ourselves in a light snow fall and four to six feet of powder in places.The traverse near the summit had a loose, wet and heavy snow load that appeared could slab off if we were to cut along the middle. We quickly negotiated around this by running above it, just below the cornices. We arrived at the top shortly after four pm. At this point we had to dig our way into the lookout. The last tenants were kind of enough to leave Us a night and mornings worth of wood, we were sure to pay it forward when we left. Tired and full, no one had a problem sleeping well that night.

Mark headed out the next morning before noon due to family commitments. SAC members Fritz Capell and Gregg Huld passed him on their way up to join us on Saturday afternoon.

Being that we all have built and slept in a few snow caves in our day, we found ourselves happy to sit by the fire and enjoy the 360 degree view of the snow and surrounding mountains. Fritz and I did manage to go out and try an idea he had on a quick, yet large emergency snow cave that worked out quite nice and was ready in less than 30 minutes. Through this effort we can say that we managed to meet the goals of the weekend.

For dinner we had black bean rice and pepper jack burritos, miso soup, baby spinach n strawberry salad, mashed potatoes with sauteed onions, and wine.

After an evening of great food and company, we headed down at ten am. It took about three hours back to the car and about another thirty to forty-five minutes to dig a turn-around in the snow.

Mark, Gregg, Kipp, and Fritz, thank you for a great weekend. I am really glad you guys appreciate Devils Peak like I do.


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