Winter Backpacking

DATE OF EVENT: Febrary 1-2, 1997

Winter backpacking? Sound little crazy isn't it? I was hoping that weather would be nice, and we were really lucky that the template was above 0 °C (32 °F). You cannot ask any better than that to Canadian winter weather.

The trip was started by snow fighting on the ice roads. We were supposed to prepare for the trip at the Morgan's house, but we had snow fight instead. After 90 minutes, we left. The trip was easy. We hiked a country road for a little while and went side way to the wild, and arrived at the place to set our camp. There was no steep hills or anything. As I said it was easy.

The first thing we do when we got there was of course set a place to sleep. Well, but we didn't have a tent. We never had a tent before anyway. It's fine in summer, but what about winter? In winter, we dug a hole in the snow. That's why we chose to stay at a valley where there was a lot of snow. The hole had an entrance, then it broken into 2 rooms where 2 guys sleep in each side. It took 5 hours to finish digging such a big hole. That was all we did that day. How was it to sleep in the snow hole? It was ok. Just I woke up several times to put my butt on my thermal mat. Because we were sleeping on snow, it was real easy to slide. After a while, my butt was sitting on snow and got cold. I woke up and put it on my mat, and went back sleep. Then my butt slid and got cold. I woke up to fix it.

Next morning started with discovering our water was frozen. Guys who didn't put their water bottle inside the hole lost their drinking water like myself. Even though the temperature was nice, I guess it was still cold enough to water to be frozen. Speaking of freezing, my boots were frozen too. Snow that was on the boots last night turned into ice. It was very nice feeling to see the sun that morning. Beside, this day was so fun. In a morning, we played with a crazy carpet, which was a plastic thin carpet to slide snow hills. Usually for kids, but hey fun is fun. The instructor Morgan told us to buy it and bring it. That was a great idea. I mean we didn't slide on a little hill in town. We were sliding big hills in the Rocky Mountains. It went fast. It lasted long. After climbing up the hills and sliding down the hill for hundred of times, somebody started to snow fight again. But this time snow fight became king of the hill. We tackled each other and threw snowballs. Winner kept his castle and losers fell back to the bottom of the hill, and had to clime up again. We played it for about 3 hours. But it wasn't enough for the energetic boys. Morgan, his brother, a couple of others (I can't recall who they were), and I decided to climb a mountain just to slide down hills with the crazy carpet. So we hiked for one hour or so and sided down like riding a roller coaster. Awesome!!

When we got back to the campsite, it was about time to pack up and go home. After all of the activities, this trip was almost over, but not quite yet over. While we were walking back to the town, it was all down hills and the road was covered by ice and snow. Suddenly my super brain came up with, "Oh no, why are we walking. We can slide." So I told the member of Toko Climb Team (Yoshi and Jacques). Three of us were carrying a big backpack on the back, and wearing the crazy carpet on the front like wearing an apron. Looks dumb but surely it worked, but it was a rough ride. The surface wasn't smooth. Because of that, while I was sliding, the body suspended little then landed. I had to use my abdominal muscle to bear the shock of my own weight and the big backpack. Made it even worse, while using the muscle, it was hard to breathe. The ride was very dangerous too. Jacques hit his nose and he was bleeding. I laughed at him. That's about my first winter backpacking trip.