What a day!
It was plan B all the way.
We scrapped Wolf Ridge because of the rather disagreeable weather forecast. We decided instead to keep it simple and local – White Queen. Although Ben did say that he thought it was an awful idea.
I agreed – Hell, no one needs to go up White Queen 11 times in one season.
But what the heck, eh?
And so we started off in spitting rain and worked our way up into light snow. I had warned the others that I might be a tad slow because since my crash on Monday into a giant snow rock-like entity on Evening Ridge, my ribs have been hurting more and more – so my breathing on the way up was a bit impaired. And boy, that affects everything!
But all was well. We followed a fresh set of snowshoe tracks, surely made by whoever had come in a blue truck (the only other vehicle in the parking lot). They must have been just ahead of us but we never did catch up. My guess was that it might be Gene the Machine or Peter O.
At any rate, up we went and there, at the top of White Queen, the tracks stopped. What happened? Did he put on a monkey suit and jump over the edge.
We found a better explanation. The tracks doubled back a short distance and went down the gully to the valley between White Queen and Beattie.
Well, we said – may as well go down that way – much more fun than going back the way we came.
And this was the best part of the day. The snow up here – and it was cold and snowing – was a bit heavy but deep enough that we could glide down almost effortlessly on our snowshoes. Such a pleasure!
And then we were on the Beattie Ridge still following the track.But where we had planned to go down into the valley and back out, the track headed up to Beattie.
Oh hell – why not? It was early. We hadn’t even had lunch yet.
And so up we went to the top of Beattie, which is where my nausea kicked in – damn ribs.
But we happily arrived at the top and had lunch in the shelter of trees that dripped water and bits of ice on us and then we booted it down – still following the mystery tracks.
I loved our route – the ridge is wonderful and the way down is gentle – and that’s what I needed today.
Yeah – it was raining at the bottom and the snow got slushy but you know what they say: “A bad day hiking is better than a good day doing anything else!”