We're back from winter camping. The temperature dropped to -28 at night, but the days were -5 to -teens. Every day was sunny and beautiful and the moon was reaching peak fullness - we had bright moonlight every night. We saw tracks from a big wolf, but he had been at our campsite before us and didn't seem to return.
I got a lot of use out of my new showshoes including a 5 1/2 hour slog trying to reach -- Falls, but we stopped so often to admire and take pictures of the beautiful scenery on the way it was taking us too long and we had to turn back - plus I was exhausted. When you're tired and start dragging your snowshoes you tend to fall over face-first. The first time it happened I heard one of the guys behind me yell "break time" and we sat right there and had water and snacks :)
The next day the rest of the gang strapped on their snowshoes again, but I opted to stay behind and work on my igloo. I wasn't quite tapering the walls in fast enough, so my igloo would have been huge if I had finished it. As soon as the pictures are downloaded I'll put them on flickr.
I had an amazing time. The park is so beautiful in the winter it's incredible to be there and see it. Yes, it was cold, but mainly during transitions, like getting up in the morning. Once you're up and moving and the sun is out it's warm and even hot. Plus, I was on wood sawing and hauling detail so I didn't have too much chance to sit around shivering.
At night, with a good sleeping bag meant for cold weather conditions and two Nalgene bottles filled with boiling water and closed tight, you stay warm. It takes some adjusting to get used to the bag, but you can get some sleep. Getting up in the morning is another story... brrrr! And you DEFINITELY DO NOT want to have to go to the bathroom during the night. You'll never warm up the bag again. Still, a few minutes of bone-chilling cold are a small price to pay for the overall experience. I would and hopefully will go again.
If our ancestors had to survive harsh winters gathering food, chopping wood and surviving cold nights, why are there so many slacker descendants? I don't understand...
Think I'll go turn up the heat and make a cup of tea. :)
moose sighted: 0
ml of boiling water mistakenly poured on e's hands holding my Nalgene bottle: about 500. sorry about that.