Day Fifteen – 4/23, Backcountry Skiing at Trapper Peak

After re-grouping from our week of camping and cave hunting with Mike in the Little Belts, we put up our caving stuff and grabbed all our ski stuff. Let me tell you, it’s weird getting ski stuff together on the hottest day of the year so far, wearing shorts, flip flops, and a tank top.

We drove south towards Trapper Peak. We thankfully got farther up the road than last time, but there was still a hunk of snow in the middle of the road. We parked in the middle of the road, made dinner, rearranged the car a bit, then fell asleep with plans of waking up at the crack of dawn.

We woke up the next morning in the 5am hour. There was a fire a couple drainages down. It was kinda cool to see the smoke from above. We could see some lightening on the skyline, so we made some breakfast and coffee and waited for it to either clear up or get worse. Thankfully it cleared up, so up the mountain we went.

Because we couldn’t get to the trailhead, we had to bushwhack through the woods for years and years. We were about 1,000 vertical feet below the trailhead and had to whack, whack, whack before we got there. Once we got to the trailhead, we had to hike about half a mile before we reached good snow. Let me tell you, after carrying heavy skis on your back for several hours, skinning is SO much easier!



Finally, we could see the top! We stopped for about half an hour for lunch, fought off the ticks (ew!), and then continued to trudge up the hill. I felt like I was going to die! Skinning is HARD and uses COMPLETELY different muscles than I’m used to and I nearly died.

Not far below the treeline we stopped for a nice long break. The Explorer is wonderful and takes good care of me and made me a bed of pine boughs and let me sleep for about an hour. Pine boughs are so warm and smell so good!


When on the mountain and low on water: Fill black contractor bag with snow. Lay in sun. Fill Katadyn Base Camp water filter with snow. Hang in tree in sun. After a little while, the snow will be water! Also great to leave at a mid-way point, because when you get back to the spot, you have fresh water to drink.


My sweet, sexy mister!

We skied up to 9,200 feet, just under 1,000 feet below the summit. Had we not had to bushwhack for seven thousand days, we definitely would’ve made it to the top!
It was SO beautiful! I can’t wait to actually summit, especially on a clear blue day, so I can get the full experience.

After some photos and some snacks, we got our skis back together and headed down. It was great! I’m really, really proud of the way I skied.


The sunset and alpine glow were phenomenal!! It was so, so, so beautiful!!! Oh my gosh.

We made it back to the trailhead before it got dark, but then had to zombie march back through the forest. Again, I thought I was going to die. We got back to the car, made some coffee to stay awake long enough to set up the tent and make dinner, then passed completely out almost immediately after.


The next morning we got up with the sun and were visited by a ton of butterflies. They were loving me!

Fifteen down, 85 to go!
(Obviously we are aware we are not going to get 100 days in this skison.  Oh well.)

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