As dusk approached last night i found myself driving up toward Dry Lake Campground getting mentally prepared for the upcoming run. Having done this run numerous times in the warm, dry and comfortable summer months is one thing, but I have only been up here once for hiking in the winter. And that was to get my Christmas Tree. Keeping our lights off on our way out, we followed a previously hiked trail for about a half-mile. After that we veered off and began breaking our own trail. Significantly more tiring, we switched the leader out often. When i took over at the front, i quickly wished i were skiing down the hill we were attempting to climb. With powder up to our hips at points it was challenging to say the least.
But when we finally arrived at our turn point, we all stopped together and looked down the valley in front of us. Not using lights for the past half-hour we had grown accustomed to the dark and all just stood, looking ahead in silence. Switching our lights on the journey back was significantly easier, following our own tracks and knowing where we were heading made it a much quicker trek. A fun adventure that will not quickly be forgotten. Both the soreness in my legs and the memories of the beautiful snow-laden valley are sure to last quite a while.