Photos on Strava.
“...I opted to continue on solo, it may have been on of the more foolish things I’ve done...”
Well, this was supposed to be a team effort with Ashly and
I, but in the 18 degree morning Ashly’s gear was underperforming so she made the smart call to turn around before we left the best of the existing packed trail. I opted to continue on solo. We had liked the idea of a winter snowshoe FKT around Crater Lake, as at this time we both hold the “Crater Lake Circumnavigation with 7 High Points” FKTs for summer...the lake and experience are just so so different (and committed) in the winter.
There was about 4 miles of well packed trail as we started (counter clockwise) before it got hit and miss in the pow ❄️ drifts. After Ashly turned around this hit and miss trail continue through Cloudcap at mile 12, then disappeared completely for the next 13-14 miles.
Sometimes 3 inches, sometimes 11, occasionally drifts of a foot and a half. For nearly 14 miles. Completely committed. No easy options for bailout or rescue. As Christof wrote in his write up, “This was foolish”
My gear was not handling the deep pow well. I didn’t feel my toes for nearly the entire second half. The deep pow slowed me to over 40 min/mile while pushing hard for seemingly interminable stretches. Thoughts of my body failing and losing toes, a foot, or my life while trying to weather a night out there with my light kit came flooding in. I marched on driven by survival instincts and the hope of a good pack trail from Watchman to the finish.
“Pull yourself together, buddy. Walk the mile you are in.”
As I rounded Hillman Peak, it became believable that I would make it. That the body would hold up.
“If only there is a damn pack trail from watchman, this thing goes!”
After another 30 minutes of wallowing in pow, there they were! THE FIRST F*<+ING TRACKS!
I was going to live. ? ...and maybe
...I can still get Christof and Daniela’s time?!?
“Let’s go body!”
- Spot Tracker emergency beacon: a must for a winter excursion like this
- Ultimate Direction Fastpack 40l: perfect for carrying the winter gear for this effort
- 4.5 liters of Tailwind Nutrition mixed to have 2200 calories
- a ridiculous number of snickers bars
- Altra Running’s High Top winter lone peaks: got wet in the deep pow
-for legs: three pairs of tights, one with a minimal wind/water barrier: these were grossly insufficient. Should have had a shell and or gaiters
- NW Alpine Gear Spider Hoody: this thing was so awesome on this Effort!!!
-NW Alpine Gear Vest
-Black Diamond Alpine Start Windlayer
-Cotopaxi Wind layer
-la sportiva thin puff
- Patagonia “thick puffy”: this thing seems to transfer any cold situation into a comfortable one
- various gloves, 3 pair
- black diamond aluminum poles
- at the finish: a Sufferfest “FKT beer” it is just too fun to me to have one of these when an FKT goes ???
Started digging around for other people's experiences of a day trip around Crater Lake...just found this as I haven't seen many other reports. Encouraged to see how others found it rough as well...but idk how you did that solo. We struggled enough as a team of 3 and pulled off 16:45...and wow what a sufferfest. Strong work!
Oh, man! it has been a minute since I thought about this experience! what a crazy crazy go of it when the pow-pow is deep! If you have a link to photos or a write up of your team's experience, please do drop it here!!!