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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Siler & Doug Snowshoe in the South Manistee

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My camp at dinner time (photo by Paul Haan)

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by Paul Haan (trail name Siler)

My neighbor Doug and I got a chance to go out and do about 16 miles of winter backpacking this past weekend. We started at Croton Dam in the southern Manistee National Forest and hiked north from there. The temps were just perfect (steady in the mid to upper twenties), but the snow cover was a bit light (about 8 inches of hard-pack with 5 inches of new fluff on top).

On Saturday we were joined by Pathfinder and his merry group of day hikers (truth be told, we joined them). Doug and I donned snowshoes and the rest bare-booted. It's hard to know which was the better way to go. With the extra 35 pounds on my back, I guess I'm glad I had the extra traction.

Doug and I hiked about 2-3 miles north of 40th Street before we found a camp for the night. Doug tried out his new Shire's Tarp Tent, which provided amazing heat producing results. I slept in my bivy inside my floorless MegaLight tipi.

On the way out the next morning, the forest was full of tracks from critters who took advantage of the mild evening to look for a mid-winter snack. Most abundant were the deer and porcupine tracks.

It was a restful outing, and I'm looking forward to the next hike in two weeks.

This segment is on NCTA map MI-04

See West Michigan Chapter of the NCTA


Dave DeWall said...

I always wanted to backpack in the snow. Stayed in Yellowstone a week in mid-September with temps down to 19 but no snow yet. Won't get a chance for any snow here in my new home in the Philippines, but thanks for the story and photo.

Sharkbytes (TM) said...

Dave- You'll just have to find some mountains with that white stuff!