If you want a bonding experience, snowshoeing in the Sierras would be high on the list. Not only are you experiencing the wild solitude of the high Sierras, you are also seeing it in it’s harshest and most peaceful condition. Add to that the physical exertion required to snowshoe across rugged terrain and you have a recipe for lifelong memories!
Scott recruited Garth and I (Tim) to go on this trip, but I think it was Garth’s hairbrained idea to to the Panther Gap trail out of Wolverton. This 6+ mile loop gains over 1000′ and is a solid summer outing. In the snow it might as well be a marathon! The only reason we chose that trail is because Garth and I have both been there on clear summer days, and the views can be incredible. But as you can see from the first photo, we were in a cloud bank eating lunch in 35 degree drizzle at Panther Gap. The closest trees were barely visible. Needless to say, this trip provided countless memories, including a great exercise in orientation when we lost the trail, were in virgin snow with limited visibility and had to rely on maps and a compass to get us on track! We did have the good fortune of some cloud break on the way back to the car and had some nice views, though not nearly as panoramic as we were hoping for. Garth and Scott were real troopers through the whole day in spite of sore legs and cold hands, and we did manage to make it back to the car before dark… barely! The best part… an entire day of hiking and we didn’t see a soul!
I told the guys next time we are nordic skiing…