Sunday, January 05, 2014
Red Pine Lake up Little Cottonwood Canyon Utah is a pleasant hike year round. I shouldered the snowshoes on the day ruck and headed up the ski track. The pack thermometer read cccold. I kept moving. The few vehicles in the parking lot revealed today will be quiet on this popular trail.
I made my way up, adjusting speed with the rate of sweat. I made sure I didn't sweat. Keeping warm means keep moving. Survival means not getting wet. The trail, an easy step, as many skiers have taken to the rugged back country slopes this area offers. To my dismay I saw but 8 people all day.
My sunglasses icing up encouraged me to use the brim of the hat to see. I hiked most of the way up pointed into the sun. This trail provides clear views down Little Cottonwood into Sandy City and beyond. The valley, crisp and clean, I hummed a few bars of Michael W Smith's worship song "This is the air we breath." I didn't mind today. When I journey up here and see smog below then I mind.
I hit the trail split to Maybird Gulch faster then expected. I took a breather and a good slug of water. Utah's dry winter air is dehydrating. To the west is a rocky gulch that looks to be very popular tday. I didn't see many boot tracks but a ton of ski skins. My path is south bound, scratched into the sign next to the engraved Red Pine is 1 hr. Thruthfully, not far from the actual, when you're the one breaking trail or out of shape.
I pressed on wards. The track fulk of post holes mixed with snowshoe prints. I pressed on without snowshoes with no issues. I hit the false summit in no time and the lake moments later. Two months ago, I snowshoed up from the split. Today I'd use the snowshoes as my lunch counter.
At the lake, I found a spot already tramped down and set on the snowshoes. Pulling a little alcohol stove out I fixed a pot of noodles and tea. A day like today couldn't be more perfect for this treat.
Headed back down after an hour, glancing at the thermometer there's an extra c to the ccccold. In the sun temps are surprisingly pleasant, without wind even more so.