Last winter a couple friends and I left for a backcountry hut above Copper Mtn a little late and without a map. Usually this sort of thing isn’t a problem. Most hut trails are well marked and you just go.
Our trail was for some reason terribly marked. We would go for ages without seeing a marker, and ended up just following the tracks of skiers we presumed had gone to the hut earlier in the day. The trip up was awesome. We made our way through pines, alpine valleys, and finally above tree line where the skiers turned downhill and we lost our tracks. Near dusk we accepted that we weren’t going to find the hut and turned back into one of the best hikes I’ve ever done.
After dark the wood fell utterly silent and amazingly luminous because of snow. We trucked downhill in deep powder, in sub-zero temperatures. I found that I could turn off my headlamp and just feel out our trail based on how soft or hard the snow was. Towards the end I just looked at the sky as I walked, and took it all in.
Absolutely worth doing! 6 years ago
My boyfriend and I went to the top of Black Balsom (off the Blue Ridge Parkway, in NC, I think) to see the meteor shower that comes every November. Hiked to the top with a tent and camping stove (to make warm food once we got there). Don’t forget the head lamps! :) 6 years ago
I went out to Rattlesnake Ledge again last night, and the full moon made a flashlight almost unnecessary. I did use a flashlight a bit on the descent since there were some nasty shadows near the top.
The awesomest thing about a full moon in away from civilization is the pictures you can take. With a 15s exposure on my camera, I got pictures very close to daylight, but grainier. Behind me is Chester Morse Lake, source of almost half of Seattle’s water. 6 years ago
I was on a two-day backpacking trip – it was my first one – and my “instructor” (called ‘The Camp Nazi’ behind his back) and he invited the six people in the group to hike up the peak to see the sunrise while in the dark. The three girls went.
It was incredible. Looking above you are seeing the stars, the ground was chilled under your feet. It was an experience I suggest to everyone.
Grow. 6 years ago
But it was difficult, I’ll admit. I would have opted for several more flashlights and a lantern, but the people guiding me up the Olympic Hot Springs were not very good at planning things. In fact, I had had very little idea of how dark it would be when we got there, and how hard the trail was. Ultimately, yeah we had only two flashlights, weak ones, and it was quite a struggle. Not to mention, its not nearly as fun in the sense that, you cant see how beautiful everything on the trail is. But, getting to wear you want to be, under the stars, to watch the sunrise….thats worth it. 7 years ago
was last night. Nearly ran into two bats, one with my car, one with my chest. Fortunately those little guys are quick.
Next week I’ll probably do the short Poo Poo Point hike, the one the paragliders use after landing. 7 years ago