Rediscovering Winter Mountaineering

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Trip Report
Washington, United States, North America
Date Climbed/Hiked:
Dec 15, 2011
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Rediscovering Winter Mountaineering
Created On: Jan 15, 2012
Last Edited On: Jan 15, 2012

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My friends, I let you down, and I am sorry. After Lassen, I have still been doing some hiking/climbing (Upcoming trip reports to come soon!) but unfortunately, I have not been consistent with the hiking as of late.

I strongly recommend Welldigger's to anyone who wants to do a great snow climb/hike in winter, and wants to see amazing, picturesque, Christmas card-esque views that look like they are out of a storybook, and you feel you are in a storybook.

View south from Welldiggers

I had an amazing time on this mountain. It also was the most beautiful trail I have been on in years. This climb was a perfect example of what happens when it starts off badly, and it seems like everything is going wrong, and then you just hang in there with yourself, and it goes from bad to great.

Welldiggers summit views

The trail starts of as a pretty steep snow hike, at least to me, but as an intermediate hiker, it seems more steep than, say, to EastKing, or a more advanced hiker.

However, it is important to be fitted and prepared for the right snowshoes. When I had started the trail, I had no snowshoes, and as a heavier person, it is very difficult to hike/climb in the snow in that kind of snow that is cold and packed b/c I just fall into the snow. It is not powdery snow, but packed.

Group heading down

So, therefore, I tried hiking without snowshoes, but my problem is that I keep falling in as mentioned above and I have no traction in that type of snow, b/c even though it is packed, my extra weight makes it very difficult to have traction ON TOP OF the snow.

BearQueen on the way up


View north from Welldiggers

After I got the right snowshoes, it felt as if I was gliding. The entire hike, for the average “Fit” person (Meaning someone who is not 100 pds overweight or less) is pretty easy with the right snowshoes, but still strenuous any way you slice it, and a great workout. However, it is enjoyable for the whole family and friends of various fitness levels. The scenery alone is worth it. *

BearQueen heading up the final section

After realizing that I needed snowshoes, EastKing (Greg) had given me some flimsy ones that work best in powdery snow and they really are not worth much. That was EXTREMELY frustrating, b/c as he and Michael were coaching me on the technique of these shoes, I knew that I simply could not get any kind of traction and that is was not going to work. I had severe pain in my legs and I kept falling down into the snow, another advantage of being top and middle heavy (overweight.) However, if I let little things like this continue to bother me (and they have for a while, even with all the encouragement from Mt. Lassen, which reminds me that I just need to go back and read what everyone had written so that I can re-energize myself.) then there probably is not much hope for me in continuing to overcome challenges on the trail, which really goes back to how hiking brings out so many spiritual and emotional issues for me as a heavier person. *

BearQueen in the burn area

It is time for me to truly take action in my finally have confidence and and be the woman I am meant to be. I cannot thank you enough for being on the journey with me in the past three years. Every time I have posted, sharing my hopes, frustrations and dreams of losing weight and one day being fit, you wonderful and amazing people who do not even need to take the time with me are always there supporting me. The fact that you all have been an amazing part of my husband's life and kept him going, especially when he has had to work two jobs, means more to me than I can say and that my heart can express, but the only way I am ever going to get better is I express it.

BearQueen and EK


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