Friday, January 29, 2010

Snowshoe to Reyes Peak

With the recent higher elevation snowfall amounts, I decided to dig out the snowshoes for a 14 miler up Chorro Grande and Reyes Peak.  At 4000 feet, this trailhead is a little over an hour's drive from my house, on the next ridge behind our Coyote Two Moon/Ojai Ridge.  With elevations exceeding 7000 feet, I was hoping for enough snow that would make bringing the snowshoes worthwhile.  I wasn't disappointed. 

After climbing 3000 feet in 5 miles, I intersected the summer road and got a good view of Reyes Peak.  Anacapa and Santa Cruz Islands were visible to the west.  It was a very sunny day with temps in the 50s.  Sunscreen mandatory!

Save for the beasties, no one had been up here recently; the snow was untracked and beautiful.  There was even some natural snow art:

As I gained elevation, the trees gained height and girth.  Lots of grand, stately pines. 
(Sorry but I love taking photos of big tree bark.)

Also some unnatural "art."

No animal sightings but saw fresh tracks of fox, coyote, little critters (squirrels, etc.), deer, mountain lion (!), and these of a small bear:

This pine seems to be joyfully spreading its wings!

Dinked around with the camera timer in order to show the scale of this snowdrift.  Hard to imagine a winter storm this extreme in Southern California.

All in all, a wonderful, quiet day alone in the woods...
...and a nice start to regaining my snowshoe legs for an upcoming adventure later this winter.  :-)


Bruce Grant said...

wow - you have more snow than we do up here! Can we truck some in to lay down on our Winter Olympic ski runs? :-)

What a beautiful day you had out there. There is something about the brilliant whiteness of fresh snow against a sapphire blue sky .. it is just so lovely. Hmm - must be some imprinting from my childhood growing up in Winnipeg.

And all those critter tracks! We are never alone out there, are we?

So is there snow on the Ojai ridge across the valley? It seems like it would be too low compared to where you were...probably up Topa for sure, but maybe not on the road?

Unknown said...

Dang- I am very jealous!!!