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Exploring the Backcountry with El Sendero

Even with the strange weather patterns we’ve been experiencing in the valley recently, Gus Bekker, spearhead of El Sendero NCW, assures us that the backcountry has surprisingly good conditions for snowshoeing and skiing.  Read the following trip synopses from Gus regarding his last couple of outings with El Sendero. 



Trip Report by Gus Bekker


I hope everyone is getting out and enjoying this El Nino winter.  Our trips have been blessed with surprisingly good weather and snow conditions. I am starting to not trust what I see outside my window in the morning as I prepare for an outdoor winter adventure. If I had based my decision to go or not go on these trips based on that first glimpse out the window I would have crawled back into bed and said to myself, "Anyone going outside today to ski/snowshoe is in for a miserable day." I'm not sure why but this has been a recurring pattern with El Sendero trips - no lie.


On the January 3rd snowshoe hike we had about a foot or more of fresh snow and periods of sun and blue sky. On the January 9th ski tour I was expecting maybe two inches of fresh on a base of rock-hard ice but we encountered about 16" of light snow with a quarter inch of frosting on top. The weather on the ski tour was wonderful at 30 degrees F, no wind, and more sun and blue skies! All of us on the ski tour were toasting our wise decision (luck?) to get out of bed that morning as we sat eating lunch with the sun beating down on us.


These last two trips reminded me of why I go out in the backcountry in the winter; it's the quiet solitude, the blue skies, the good company, and the satisfaction of physical exertion of "earning your turns," as the saying goes.


I am off to the winter Outdoor Retailer Show in Salt Lake from January 17th to January 25th so there will not be a trip scheduled while I am gone. I am looking for individuals interested in leading trips for the club; it doesn't work to well with only one trip leader as there are many weekends when I am busy and can't get away. Please step forward and lead a trip; I know many of you can do this and have a friend that would help you out. Share the winter experience and bring a friend along as co-trip leader! Contact me if you are interested.




Explore the area with El Sendero NCW.El Sendero NCW.  There are several group outings (some on backcountry skis, some on snowshoes) each winter that are announced coordinated through emails. Contact Gus Bekker (gus@elsendero-ncw.org, 509-667-8681) to be placed on the email list.