Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Hiking Mt. Pinos Area

As some of you know, I am currently taking a Wilderness Travel Course which teaches you skills to learn the "freedom of the hills". The focus of the second half of the course is all about snow camping which is the final "exam" of the class. Before going camping we have to get our "snow legs" under us by going snow traveling (which can be a hard thing to do in a place like Southern California). So we lit out for Mt. Pinos in search of snow and adventure!

Of course, snow travel is like water off a duck's back to an Upstate kid like me and after tromping around on the snow for a few minutes, it was like I never left New York.

You might be thinking, is there even snow there in SoCal? Well yes, yes there is

but the majority of the Pinos area was in full Spring-mode.

Of course, this old dog can still be taught new tricks like wearing knee-high gaiters

and learning the basics of snow travel. Our class set out for adventure and learnin'

and a-learnin' we did. Throughout the day we learned several of the basics of backcountry life including how to make a fire

(yes Fritos are a good accelerant)

How to pitch a tent in the snow

(get your minds out of the gutter)

and the basics of snow travel. This included kicking steps into the mountain to go up as well as traversing and the all-important going DOWN the mountain. Throughout the day we were also navigating around in the Mt. Pinos area and several times I was the lead dog postholing through the snow to lead the team (Team Blazin' Pinatas) to some higher ground. Let me tell you, that higher ground lead to some spectacular views which put an amazing cherry onto this sundae of a day.

Overall, a great day with the WTC and Team Pinatas. Getting to play in the snow brings out the Upstate in ADKinLA and it was a fun adventure, one which you should have while the snow still exists here in SoCal!


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