Bryce – Solo Winter Adventures in Utah: Day 1

Bryce – Solo Winter Adventures in Utah: Day 1

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The ‘Silent City’ of hoodoos at Bryce from Inspiration Point at sunrise (Janaury 27, 2020; 18℉)

Overview Trip Report: Bryce (Day 1)

  • Date: January 27, 2020
  • Activity: Winter Hiking; 3 separate day hikes
  • Weather: 18ºF to 34ºF (maximum wind speed: 35 – 45 mph)
  • Trail Name(s):
    1. The Rim Trail: Inspiration Point to Sunset Point (0.6 miles one way). I hiked it as an out-and-back (1.2 miles) just after dawn. Trail conditions: 8 – 12 inches light powder on top of packed powder; ~3 foot drifts in the margins. Traction: snowshoes recommended.
    2. Peek-a-boo Loop Trail from Bryce Point (5.5 miles total). I hiked from, and returned to, Bryce Point. Trail conditions: drifting snow, light powder, 4 – 12 inches of packed powder and occasion ice with Intermittent ice and mud at the lower elevations. Traction: microspikes and trekking poles.
    3. The Rim Trail: Sunrise Point to Sunset Point (0.5 miles one way). I hiked it as an out-and-back (1.0 miles) just before dusk. Trail conditions: black ice on pavement sections, unpaved sections were a mix of snow and ice (1 – 4 inches of powdery snow obscuring underlying ice). Traction: microspikes and trekking poles.
  • Parking/Access: Before sunrise, roads in National Park hadn’t been plowed yet (4 to 6 inches of powder had fallen overnight). They plowed just after sunrise. Rainbow Gate remained closed throughout the day. I was the second car to enter the park for the day, and parking remained easy throughout my time at Bryce.
  • Background about Bryce: For information about the history, geology, and terms used when discussing Bryce, see my previous post: What is Bryce Canyon? Hoodoo?

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Glacier: Snow What?! (CDT Day 145)

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Some of the brightest, pinkest clouds I’ve ever seen rolling up over the snow-capped mountains of Glacier National Park (Sunrise: September 25, 2018).

I’d seen the forecasts and I knew that winter was coming with a vengeance, but I’d hoped that an epic 29 – mile day would get me through Glacier ahead of the snow. Spoiler alert: It didn’t. These are the stories and photos from that day.

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Welcome to Glacier: Winter is Coming (CDT Days 143-144)

Welcome to Glacier: Winter is Coming (CDT Days 143-144)

Panorama of view from Pitamakin Pass

Panoramic view from Pitamakan Pass, Glacier National Park (September 24, 2019)

A year ago today I was hiking through the snow in an amazing fall/winter landscape in Glacier National Park, just days away from completing my thru-hike of the CDT. These are the stories and photos from September 24, 2018 as I hiked 12 miles from the Ranger Station at Two Medicine, over Pitamakan Pass, breaking trail to Morning Star Lake.

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Winter Backpacking: Mt. Washington, NH

Winter Backpacking: Mt. Washington, NH

“Wow!!” I grinned, ear to ear, as I gazed up at the sparkling white, snow-covered summit of Mount Washington, set against the most amazingly clear bluebird sky I’ve ever seen in the White Mountains. It was hard to believe that just a few days before the winds had been blasting across the mountains at 171 mph with temperatures dipping down to -13F (-25C) since today the sun was shining, temperatures were rising into the teens, the winds were calm, and there wasn’t a single cloud in the sky. Not a single one!!  I couldn’t have asked for better weather for me first winter overnight on Mt. Washington! (Trip report and gear list below)

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6 Shiny Things for Winter Adventurers

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For me one of the shiniest (best) things is a beautiful winter’s day in the mountains with sunshine, bluebird skies, sparkling fresh snow, and glittering cascades of ice (Mt. Monroe, NH 2017).

During winter when the darkness comes too soon and lingers for far too long, all the shiny, sparkly, and glittery things seem to have extra appeal. The six things that made my list for this year’s winter gift guide ($7 to $70) and gear review all make dark winter days and long winter nights a little bit brighter, shinier, and more sparkly. So, without further ado, here are a few of my shiniest things (additional holiday song spoofs included in photo captions):

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