2/27/10 Back to Icehouse Canyon, only this time with company. My Dad joined me for 2700' of elevation gain in about 8 miles, in rain then heavy snow, with temperatures down to 19 degrees. Another fun day!
1 This time around my dad wanted to join me to try out some trekking and snowshoeing. We had been trying to find a day with good snow, and trying to decide on a trail that was challenging but not quite as crazy as some of my previous solo expeditions. We ended-up deciding on Icehouse Canyon on a day with heavy snow forecast. The makings of a perfect snow day!
A look at the creek in Icehouse Canyon on the way up the trail. A bit less snow than last time I was here. It is raining fairly hard at this point given that we are still below the snow line. As we move up in elevation, the rain turns to sleet, then small hail, and then finally legitimate snow. Unfortunately, my non-waterproof camera is starting to succumb to the elements and sporadically has moisture condensing in it throughout the day. This picture and many others would end-up turning out blurry or entirely fogged-up.
2 One of the crazier looking creatures that I have ever seen. This thing is about 3 or 4 inches long and is slowly crawling across the snow. It is either super resilient to the elements, or is about to die.
3 For some reason, today was a popular trekking day in the canyon. We saw more people today than in all my other treks combined. But it does make things mentally easier knowing that there is help around if you need it.
4 As we near Icehouse Saddle, the wind is howling, it is snowing heavily, we are in near whiteout conditions, and the temperature is in the low 20s. You couldn't ask for more perfect trekking conditions!
5 Dad ascending up out of Icehouse Canyon almost to the saddle.
6 A look at my dad making is way up a section of trail near the saddle. I think he would agree that climbing uphill in fresh powder is tough work!
7 We made it to the trail marker on Icehouse Saddle. The wind is pretty fierce up here on the ridge and you can't stand comfortably in one place for very long. This will be our summit for the day.
8 We take shelter behind a tree from the wind and driving snow.
9 A look at another group on the saddle taking shelter behind a tree. And to think we are less than an hour away from the urban sprawl.
10 A video version of the same group on the saddle gives some idea of the wind and snow conditions.
11 We head a couple hundred feet towards Timber Mtn. and decide that will be as far as we go for the day. No one has gone past the saddle and we are breaking our own trail. The wind is still howling. Time to head back down.
12 The tracks that were inches deep on the way up are already almost invisible from all the new snowfall.
13 A look at my nifty Kestrel weather meter that measure temperature, wind speed, and the resulting wind chill. It is currently 21.1 degrees including wind chill, and it was even colder at the saddle.
14 Everything is much whiter on the way back down. Absolutely beautiful conditions.
15 Dad on the way back down.
16 Dad after a mini wipeout. He only had a few small wipeouts for the day though. He did very well!
17 A rare picture of me on the trail.
18 An awesome dog that was on the trail together with his owner. Notice the little doggie snow boots.
19 No this is not some cool Photoshop filter, the blur is from the condensation in my camera, probably caused by evaporation as we move back down to warmer temperatures. Notice how much more snow there is though compared to the identical picture taken on the way up.
20 A cabin overlooking the creek in Icehouse Canyon. This part of the canyon is not in the Cucamonga Wilderness and has private properties. This one is currently for sale in fact.
21 One last look at the heavy snowfall, this time with drier and larger snowflakes.