-Okay, now take off your shoes and put them inside your sleeping bag.
-What?! Can’t I just leave them here?
-Sweetie, they’ll freeze…
The thing you need to know about winter camping? Better have a sleeping bag big enough to fit all your stuff inside if you want to use them again the next day.
The only thing we decided to keep warm were our new mountaineering boots. Well, hell yeah, they were bought the same day, we had to take care of those babies. Who cares about snow pants, jackets, fuel or hmm.. water. That even freeze?
Yes, it does.
So how did it happen that I camped on the frozen lake in sub 0 temperatures on New Year’s Eve? Let’s say I wanted an unforgettable New Year’s Eve. I wanted to finish that amazing year (yes, I may be weird, but 2016 was a very good year for me) in a badass style.
Plus dating a badass dude, while you like doing crazy shit yourself, ends with ideas like that.
But whatever people think or say, I don’t regret it. I had a great time. And for sure it was unforgettable.
But some details.
We decided to camp in Clinton Reservoir, right next to the Mayflower Gulch Trailhead, because we wanted to hike it the next day. We set up our tents, made trip searching signal so I could call my friends and family (who were one year older 8 hours before me) and started the fire so we could get warmer before dark.
Around 9 pm we went to see fireworks in Breck (which I have to say I was super disappointed in because in Poland, we have fireworks at midnight to really greet New Year, but well…), already then the only thing I could think about was trying out my newest Christmas present, what is- PIE IRON.
For all of you pie fans, get it as fast as you can! You put a crust and a filling inside, put it for 5 minutes inside the fire and boom! The best pie ever is ready!
But after getting back to the campsite… Our fire was gone….
I haven’t been so disappointed in a very long time. I’d been waiting for that pie the whole day!
But it’s funny how one little glowing piece of coal and desperation can change you into a hero in a girl’s eyes. That was Ian’s case, he saved the fire and my pie. I was so happy!
The night was really cold. Like really, really cold. So cold that my camera decided it’s easier to die. At least I was super comfy in my hero’s 0 degrees sleeping bag. Our tent was frozen in the morning like my snow pants, that I took off in the evening and left outside the sleeping bag.
I have to say that was the hardest part- getting out of that sleeping bag. But hot cocoa helped me.
That’s the greatest of all my advice. No matter when you’re going camping, have hot cocoa with you for some chilly (or freezing cold) mornings.
The next day, like I said, we did Mayflower Gulch and saw abandoned cabins. I also had a little avalanche clinic. I found out for example:
- you need to be extra careful after a storm and heavy snowfall because this is when the avalanche risk is the biggest;
- you don’t want to climb slopes steeper than 30 degrees;
- snow has layers because every new snow covers the old ones;
- when there’s a lot of snow on the slope, actually everything can be a trigger for an avalanche.
I hope 2017 will be for you a year full of adventures!