Apr 20

On April 18th –19th, Troop 325 laced up the snowshoes for an early spring hike into the Kaniksu National Forest just south of Lake Pend 'Oreille in Idaho. It was an adventure in true T325 fashion. We had planned to hike to Packsaddle Mountain (elev 6405). But, as usual, things changed. We hit snow at about 2200 feet and the road was closed about 10 miles from our anticipated trailhead.

So . . . it was park the van, hike on patches of snow for about a mile until it was solid snow and put on snowshoes. Then, hike uphill another 3 1/2 to 4 miles until we found a campsite just east of the Green Monarch Ridge. On the hike in, we had an impromptu class on making snow goggles. Once we reached the camp site, we covered how to set up camp, shovel out a snow kitchen, safe axe use, how to start a fire in the snow, how to cook dinner on a fire, setting up a bear bag and tips on sleeping and camping in the snow (among other things).

The next day, we saw bear tracks about 1/4 mile from our camp site that were newer than our snow shoe tracks from the previous day. We also saw deer tracks, elk tracks, signs of coyotes and listened to woodpeckers. It was great weather all weekend - Nathan Lee is now my good luck charm; every trip that he has been on has dodged any rain. Overall, it was a super trip.

-Bob Castellaw

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