Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Ice hikes...

A week ago, December 14, 2010, is a day that will live in infamy and be forever called "Merry Cliffmas," as Clifton Pfifer Lee was brought back to the city of brotherly love to pitch for the Philadelphia Phillies...but that is a story for another day. However, to celebrate "Happy Clifton Pfifer Lee Day," I went on my first winter hike with my friend Kim over at fieldfare.

[Jura hiking guide extraordinaire]

[Biggg drop.]

This was only my third time hiking, (I promise I'll stop counting after this one), and Kim is a pro, so I was a little nervous, but apparently I did well. It was gorgeous out and surprsingly not too cold, and after about 20 minutes of hiking it starting "glitter snowing..."

...but don't be fooled. All those pretty little "snow patches?" Yeah those are solid ice, with a thin coating of newly fallen snow on them.

Pic via Kim.

I have learned through the early parts of this winter that I have two styles of walking on ice covered in snow: the waddle, (as displayed above), and the march...

Pic via Kim.

We made it to Tiocan in about an hour. Originally I figured we'd go to Tiocan and then turn around and go back (there were promises of vegan mac 'n cheese that aided that decision), but I still felt ok so we decided to go up a little further...

...and then it started to get increasingly more icy.

Pic via Kim.

We stopped for tea on a stump...

After tea, we decided the only possible way of really getting down the mountain was for us to get to the road, because before we knew it the path had become a complete sheet of ice with only very small areas to use as footholes going up. With some effort, which included a little climbing through the trees for the last 20 feet, we did make it to the road, and there we found this:

Not bad, eh?

We wanted to keep going, but our hiking shoes sans yak-trax type equipment would not have gotten us very far.

I'm still amazed at how quickly and seemingly abruptly the weather changes on the mountain. This is what it looked like after walking down the mountain for about 30 minutes:

[See ya, neige!]

Crazy, right?
We headed back to Chez Strom and Kim made me yummy tea and vegan mac 'n cheese. I think I'd hike everyday if there were promises of mac 'n cheese, raclette or tartiflette to follow...

A la prochain friends...

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