This was without a doubt the hardest hike of my life. It was the first time ever for me that I couldn’t make it to my designated campsite.
I got to the Fox Farm Road trailhead at about Noon. It was a clear day, the first in several weeks, and it was unseasonably warm, temps were around 34F. I had my winter backpacking load-out, minus my extra foam sleeping pad and 20F synthetic sleeping bag as the warm temperatures didn’t warrant bringing them. I also brought along my new MSR XGK stove to melt snow with and try out. My plan was to head to the Big Bend campsite about 3.5-4 miles away.
Immediately out on the trail I could tell I had my work cut out for me. I was postholing. EVERY.SINGLE.STEP. In the end I didn’t take many pictures on this trip as I was just to exhausted.
After about 5 hours of this I had only gone a little over 3 miles. The sun was setting and I was burning daylight. I told myself I’d hike another hour and try to push to the campsite. In the end I didn’t make it. I had to pull off trail, stamp down a site for my tent and make a temporary campsite.
The snow depth seemed to be around 3-4 feet on the trail. Even stamping down a spot for my tent was a largely wasted effort. With the depth of the snow and the high temps the snow was just a mushy rotten mess. I kept sinking left and right.
On the way out at least I could follow my own packed down trail. I made it back to the trailhead in about 2 hours.
Overall it was a fun but exhausting trip. My new MSR stove worked great! I had it roaring the whole time and it did an excellent job melting snow.
I’d definitely go with bigger wider snow shoes next time. I’ll have to learn to read the snow conditions better and pick a snow shoe based on that. These Crescent Moon EVAs are great on trails or packed in snow but they just dont float enough in that deep of snow when you’re carrying a heavy pack. I’ve got a pair of surplus USAF magnesium snowshoes that I’m going to try and modify to handle hills better. They would’ve been a much better choice for this trip.