As part of the SDIC HALT Specialist training, they conduct a trip up to the Sierras for a snow camp. I had completed the class training last year but the trip was canceled due to lack of snow. So I had an entire year to prepare my gear and clothing.Early Saturday morning 5 of us headed up to Rock Creek between Bishop and Mammoth. Rock Creek has one of the few plowed roads that lead directly to snow so it is easy to get to. At the trailhead, we unloaded and got ready to hit the trail. We all had pulk sleds to haul gear which made it very easy. We started snowshoeing parallel to the road in snow that was about 4' deep in most places. After about a mile, we found a nice open area to camp in. We all setup our tents and made dinner. The canyon was quite narrow and steep so the sun disappeared very early. After getting too cold, I went down to sleep.
The next morning we got up, made breakfast and waiting anxiously for the sun to come over the ridge again. We then started building quinzhees. It was hard work and I didn't think we could get them done in time. After lunch, we took a hike up to Rock Creek Lodge to check out their winter operations. It was a tough hike and the lodge was mainly deserted even though it was open. Back in camp, the snow caves got completed. However, I chickened out and chose not to sleep in them which turned out to be a mistake.
The second night seemed quite a bit colder than the first. The guys in the shelters were cozy but I was cold at times in the tent. After a quick breakfast, we tore down the shelters for safety reasons then hiked back to the parking lot. It was a long trip back to San Diego.
Overall, I had a great time and can't wait to take the scouts on a snow camp in March.
|At the trailhead|
|Starting to get cold!|
|Inside the quinzhee|