Heading Down

This snowshoeing thing is taking off, and if I keep this up, I’ll be in shape enough to not suck at hiking at the beginning of the hiking season. This week’s adventure brings us up Spud Hill, also known by some as Mount Deary. Spud Hill was my first Idaho summit, and it’s a great little local hike that I often overlook. But I’ve always wanted to hike it in the winter, and today, Spud Hill became my first winter Idaho summit.

The one difference between snowshoeing and hiking, aside from the snow on the ground, is that distances seem longer than they would on bare ground. For example, during the last half-mile after we leave the main road, the trail switch backs and makes one last steep hurrah for the summit. Today, that section to the switchback seemed to go on longer than I remembered it. Perhaps its because each step takes so much more energy in the deep snow. On the other hand, that last steep ascent is much easier in snowshoes than in the summer when the loose gravel tends to give way under your feet.

In all, it was a great day. When C.J. and E.T. arrived at my house, they got stuck in the driveway and subsequently slid off the drive into the snow while backing down. We tried everything to get her car out, but evenually resorted to shovelling out a short path to the road behind her. That fun bout of problem sovling did cost us about an hour of hiking time. But no matter, we made it to the summit and back in about 3 hours.

The view from the top was beautiful. The Palouse was all covered in white, and the afternoon sun was golden. It wasn’t the clearest day, but sometimes, that makes the view more dramatic. The trees were still covered in snow, so it felt like we were exploring a winter wonderland. Then again, perhaps this part of Idaho is a winter wonderland. But see for yourself. Click on the image above to see more photographs from this hike.