Sunday, May 20, 2007

Janet's Hut

You know how we all go through phases with ways to spend our free time? I've been through several recently. During the winter I was hitting the slopes every weekend. For a time I enjoyed poring over cookbooks to find delicious, complicated recipes. My most recent obsession has been clearing out a 20'x20' plot for setting up a vegetable garden. In all this time, however, I haven't had the blogger urge. I've had blogger guilt of course, but I always told myself I would do it later, later, later. My guilt has finally caught up with me so I'm going to do my best over the next few weeks to catch you up on the goings-on in Fergtown.

Jumping back to March, Steve and I had another overnight hut trip, this time to Janet's Hut. We enjoyed Janet's immensely as it was nowhere near any snowmobile trails and we were very much secluded from the rest of the world. Also, it took a bit more effort to get to this hut (compared to Shrine Mountain) so it cut down on the - how shall I say - the whinning inclined.

Hiking in to the hut

The trek in was much warmer compared to our last hut trip. It was nearly 50 degF and I walked most of the way without my jacket on. The downside to the warmer weather was that the top snow layer was quite soft and we found ourselves punching through up to our knees, or even our hips. Imagine this: you are walking along a picnic table and WHAM! Suddenly your foot falls through a hole to the ground below. It's so hard to keep your balance when the floor gives way, especially with a backpack on. Sometimes it was even harder to get out of the hole, since every time you'd try to step up onto the top you'd just fall through again and make the hole wider. This was more annoying than dangerous, except when we had to cross a small creek. Lucky for us the snow held!

Janet's Hut

A spring storm pounds the mountain

Just as we arrived at the hut the dark clouds that had been threatening us all day broke loose and unleashed a healthy dose of heavy, spring snow. The skiers in the cabin were all a-twitter since there promised to be a lots of powder the next day to play in. We had again snowshoed so couldn't really participate in the powderfest, however this pretty much convinced us that next year we need to get the proper gear to do it up right.

Some boys built an after-dark luge run

Some of our cabin mates were a group of 10 on a "Guy's Trip". They were a lot of fun and that evening built a luge outside the hut. They brought a tube, but it sprang a leak. Then they found an old Twister game and tried to use the plastic mat as a makeshift sled, but that was an ill fated experiment. Finally they used one of their snowboards: the sane ones sitting, and the lunatics standing. As we sat inside eating dinner and drinking hot chocolate we would see a head lamp go screaming by in the drakness down the run. As they say, it's all fun and games until someone gets hurt, and the evening came to an end when one gentleman's flip didn't go quite as planned. I'm sure chicks will dig the scar across the bridge of his nose where his headlamp dug in.

Melting snow for water on the wood burning stove

I love this picture of the old wood burning stove because it embodies the romatic feel of these back country huts. Everyone hangs up their clothes around the fire to dry off overnight, and there was a large pot that we filled with snow to get water. Many people boiled it to be safe, but it was so fresh that I didn't bother. I'm sure I'll get burned one of these days but so far I've been just fine. Hmm, except for that time in Belize...

Lovin' the spring storm

The snow died overnight but picked up again as we head back down the trail the next morning. There were several inches carpeting the river valley which meant I got to leave fresh tracks on the pristine landscape. I don't know why that's so exciting to me, but I just love having the first go on smooth snow. Toward the end of the hike I got a bit cold because the snow was melting into my clothes as we walked, but it wasn't too bad. We actually walked down a ski run at Copper Mountain to get back to the car which was most unusual. I can't imagine what people must have thought of us: two snowshoers with large backpacks just walking down the run on a powder day!


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