Fadgen's Adventures

Fadgen's Adventures
Green Creek Lake

Monday, February 22, 2010

Freezing Our A$$es Off!

Since we have been snowshoeing a bit lately, Dylan and I thought that we should include an overnight camping trip with a snowshoe hike. After reading a couple of online trip reports I picked Hell Roaring Lake in the Sawtooths as the destination.

The plan was to hike up the designated trail about 5 miles to the lake, pitch a tent, and enjoy ourselves. After a slow start (due to many issues) we started up the snow covered road at 1:00PM with packs on and trailing a sled with our large winter sleeping bags. Upon reaching the trail head we discovered that the snow wasn't set up enough to allow us to go forward without sinking in a couple of feet. Way too much work.

Fortunately the snow on the narrow road was packed due to a couple of snowmobiles traveling up it some time before. This road would eventually take us close to where we wished to be. So we followed the road up and around and around and around. After 3 hours we reached the Sawtooth wilderness boundary and the end of the snowmobile trail. At this point we were still approximately 1.5 miles from the lake, but with sunlight fading we decided to make camp.

We stomped down a tent area and then Dylan proceeded to create an area for us to hang out and cook in. After the snow had set up for the tent, we pitched it and got everything ready inside. Did I mention that it was cold? When we started out from the road it was in the teens, and actually felt warm with the sun shining on us while we hiked in. But by now the sun had gone down behind the mountains and we were starting to get a little chilly. So we cooked up some Chili Mac, had some fruit cocktail, and drank a couple of warm beverages before it turned dark around 7PM.

What to do in the snow and dark at 7PM? Well, head to the tent of course! I had planned ahead and brought a book to keep myself entertained for a bit. Dylan didn't bring anything so he just tried to sleep, which didn't work out so well. After about an hour of reading and alternating hands outside the sleeping bag to alleviate the frozen fingers, I had enough and closed up for sleep. We spent the next 12 hours in our bags!

During the course of these twelve hours Dylan must have asked me for the time on at least 10 occasions. "Dad, what time is it?" Ten O'clock. "Dad, what time is it?" Ten thirty. "Dad, what time is it?" Eleven thirty. You get the gist. A long night.

Sometime in the early morning we were awakend with the sounds of gunfire. It was sporadic, probably occurring every 10 to 15 minutes. We both laid there thinking it can't be something moving around breaking branches, there was too much snow on the ground. Turns out is was the pine trees popping. I'm not too sure if it was sap or bark freezing, but it was definitely popping, and sounded a lot like gunshots.

Finally, a little after 8AM, the sun had risen enough to bring some sunshine into the tent and it was time to get out and fix something hot to eat and drink. Figuring that our water would freeze we had planned on getting water from the nearby creek that was flowing the previous afternoon. Well, now it was frozen over and we couldn't break through. So on to melting snow.
Melting snow

It was a beautiful sunny morning, but just a little cold. The tears on my eyelashes froze and after a short time our feet were extremely cold. No amount of walking, jumping jacks or stomping up and down would warm them up. Dylan retreated back into the tent while I continued to melt some snow for hot chocolate.

After some hot chocolate and a frozen pop tart he warmed up enough to come out and gobble down a couple of packages of hot oatmeal. Once we finished eating we packed up and got the hell out of Dodge. Another three hour trek brought us back to the car where is was a balmy 11 degrees at 1:00PM.

One the way home we stopped in Stanley for a bite to eat before the three hour drive home. I casually asked the waitress how cold it was that morning and our jaws hit the floor when she told us -20 degrees.
Salmon River

Monday, February 15, 2010

Valentine's Day 2010


So what to do on Valentine's Day this year? Sleep in and have breakfast in bed? Go out to a swanky restaurant? No way. My lovely wife told me she likes nothing better than feeling sweat roll down the small of her back as she's trudging up a hill in snowshoes. Who was I to say no to something like that??? 

So three of us (we can't get out without Dylan!) packed up and headed out for an afternoon climb in the snow. After an hour climb we reached a ridge and settled down for lunch.



Here is Dylan using his new avalanche shovel to clear out a place for us to sit.


As you can see the weather cooperated for a little bit.

We had a leisurely lunch, enjoyed the view and headed back down before the clouds rolled in. A great way to spend the afternoon with the ones you love.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

More Powder - Different State


This past weekend we all went to Bozeman, Montana to visit Montana State University as well as to get in a little skiing. We spent all day Friday touring the campus, talking to folks, checking out the college guys, and eating dorm food. The dorm food sure brought back memories! And most of them weren't too good.

Saturday was spent skiing at Bridger Bowl, a local ski area about 16 miles outside of Bozeman. Unfortunately for us, there wasn't too much powder, but the skiing was good anyway.

Compared to our local ski area, Bridger has the same number of lifts, but twice the vertical. Much steeper terrain and most of the upper runs were not groomed, allowing us to practice our mogul skiing.







One of the cool things at Bridger was the ability to backcountry ski. The picture below shows the tracks that people had made after either hiking or skiing up to the ridge. Sounds fun, but you needed to have an avalanche transceiver to access this area. If you look in the top center of the picture, you can see two people on top of the ridge.




Of course the day we left for home (Sunday) they received 11 inches of fresh powder.



We may be spending more time in the area if Taylor chooses to attend Montana State.

Powder!!!


We spent all day Saturday skiing by braille in a whiteout, so when we woke up Sunday and it was clear we decided to head out for a little snowshoe adventure. We had heard of a place close to the house where we could get in a little climbing. As you can see in the picture above we are ready to go with the exception of a missing lens! Once that was remedied, we started up the mountain.

As you can see, there was great snow coverage and it was a beautiful day.


Over the next couple of hours we hiked up a couple of small summits and even allowed Dylan to stop and play around with the ice axe he had gotten for Christmas.

When it was all done we had wandered around for a couple of miles. Next time we are bringing our skis!!!

Isn't he the man?

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A team of adventurers consisting of John, Tamara, Taylor, Dylan, and Shadow Fadgen