PCT from the Pederson Sno-Park to the Brown Mountain Shelter 2-25-19

Photos by Barry, Jean and Jerry

The sky thundered. The rain came down as a deluge. The wimps stayed in bed. Then the core arrived at Rite Aid. The Few. The Brave. The Confused.

Encouraged by having a Canadian to deal with tundra conditions, the Chosen Few embarked on an adventure. As we approached the summit, rain turned to snow. With impeccable timing the squad reached the heights just as the plows were finishing their task. We drove on relentlessly through blowing snow on a freshly cleared road with just enough snow for traction. The Pederson Sno-Park had been cleared and we parked and contemplated the greatest challenge of all.

We were faced by the mother of all snow banks. Fortunately Barry Harris rose to the challenge and on his 4th attempt reached the summit. Jerry Lafontaine followed and, with a little help from the top, made it as well. The rest of us blundered up the hill and were dragged over the hump. Once in the forest we were on an ideal trail, well-broken, with a few inches of fresh snow. The wind was cut off by the trees. Ideal conditions and 34 degrees. 

Recalling my army days I enforced trail-breaking discipline and switched trail breakers with wild abandon. This was the subject of ridicule over lunch but effective nonetheless. We huddled in the Brown Mountain Shelter and devoured our lunches plus some excellent chocolate that Rich had brought. The return was quick and we soon were again faced with the mother of all snow banks. After several uneventful descents I executed my patented swan dive as my pole snapped. I failed to be awarded full points as my feet landed apart and that is the last thing the judges see. 

The road home was uneventful as we carefully navigated the snowy road, descending from the ridge in 4 wheel drive. This ensured our timely arrival at Caldera where we were again well-served. We laughed at the nay sayers who had predicted blizzards and worse. The Few. The Brave. The Vindicated.

Ashland Hiking Home

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