Mt. Ashland Snowshow 2-27-17

Photos by Nanci and John

Hardy members of the Monday group scaled Mt Ashland in comfortable vehicles and prepared to tackle the snow and wind out to Grouse Gap Shelter. We also were determined to rival the Yogashoe techniques of the Wednesday Group, memorialized the previous week.

Hank Morgan joined us for part of out-going section but returned early so as not to miss the cocktail hour. Rich Stickle tried out a number of elegant pirouettes, a most difficult procedure on snowshoes, with predictable results. Elisabeth Zinser wisely chose to avoid the downhill section which could have used some slalom gates.

The trip out was made interesting by the road being complete covered with snow, such that it was unrecognizable. We took the higher road towards the golf ball and then did a gung ho descent to get back on the proper trail. We had to break trail in deep powder and Hank, Mike and Nanci did yeoman service in clearing the way. Your noble leader took over and soon the powder was up to 18 inches deep on a side hill lie. Mike relieved me after some hard-won progress and we bashed on, dam the torpedoes, at a snail's pace. The weather threatened to turn into a white-out as we were now being hit with more snowflakes than the world's entire population could count.

A bit of scratching of the noodle and calculations of time brought us to the conclusion that the Grouse Gap Shelter might as well be in Chico, so we retreated in search of a lunch venue. Over lunch we discussed what dance moves we could make and, after rejecting a snow angel theme, we decided on the can can. This was carried out in magnificent fashion and we headed off to home base. By this time various skiers were descending like Greek gods from Mt Ashland, down through the powder and gliding onto our trail and swiftly passing us and off to the parking area. I was relieved that no one gave them the Italian salute. 

After further consideration we decided we were owed a libation at Callaghan's where we were treated royally. I did my usual incompetent accounting of who owed what and once again failed to skim of the top, under Bettys hawk-eyed vigilance. It was a character-building day but seeing the forest under a heavy blanket of snow made it all worth while. 

John 

Ashland Hiking Home

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