On Saturday the 30th, David, Jesse and I took a snowshoe trip. The expedition had a certain degree of inevitability to it, as Jesse had purchased some snowshoes awhile back and was anxious to try them out.
The day dawned a crystalline blue. The destination was Shuteye Peak, an 8350 FT summit that serves as a Forest Service Lookout during the summer.
We got as close to the mountain as we could with 4-wheel drive and chains. The snow was gooey, and we were forced to park a bit sooner than we had hoped.
We hit the trail around ten o'clock, in good spirits. Talk was sparse, just the brief grunts that characterize the crisp vernacular of the backcountry; when best to "shoe-up", or "layer-off"; speculation on when you expect to "top-out." We pointed out animal sign to each other. "Rabbit." "Uh-huh."
Traveling cross-country, we pressed higher, gaining elevation rapidly. We made decent progress until we came to the last third of the climb, when we encountered very steep, very sticky snow. To get the idea, picture climbing a huge glob of Elmer's Glue with Eggo waffles strapped to your feet.
We reached the summit thrilled and exhausted, and spent some time downing calories and looking around at the view. But we knew we had a long descent ahead, so we didn't loiter.
Thanks to David's impeccable navigational skills, we beat an efficient track back to the truck and reached home in time for hot showers and quiche: glad to be down, glad to be tired, glad to be living in the shadow of the Sierras.
(Go here to view a complete slideshow of the hike.)