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Nice & Steady
Begins: May 7, 2011
Date: Fri, Apr 15th, 2011
Start: Echo Lake, Desolation Wilderness, CA
End: Echo Lake
Entry Visits: 733
Journal Visits: 29,481
Guestbook Views: 1,581
Guestbook Entrys: 65
Pacific Crest Trail Map
Sandy and I spent a great 3-day weekend at Mountain Education Snow Skills Class run by Ned Tibbits. There were 5 other PCT hikers from all over the US. Brian/Railroad, Dan, Don, Greg/Sourdough and Phil were very interesting and we hope to see them all on the trail. The class started at Echo Lake (mile 1,096) near the PCT.
Ned knows snow. He teaches hikers how to safely travel over it while evaluating the surface. We experienced post-holing, learned about cornices and avalanche conditions, how to safely ascend and descend on steep terrain, self-belay, self-arrest using our ice axes, what to look for when crossing a frozen lake, where to find water to drink, how to stake a tent in snow, build a snow cave and snow table. Ned also spent time teaching us how to navigate with the use of compass and topo maps. Instead of freaking out over the idea of hundreds of miles of snow travel we came away with a great deal of confidence that this kind of snow travel is entirely possible and fun.
We went to camp to get some basic ice axe skills, which we did, but came away with so much more. Ned and his wife Julie are positive examples of what makes our hiking community so special. The instruction was very informal. We felt like Ned was our friend offering his knowledge. We both would encourage anyone who is planning a hike requiring snow travel or just wanting to learn how to build a snow cave take this class. You can find more info at www.mountaineducation.org
The challenges we face are real, they are serious, and they are many.