Tidbits Lookout

June 12, 1982

After taking this trip in June at least ten previous times, and always on lots of snow, this leader decided not to take an ice axe on June 12, 1982. That was a poor, poor decision! Tidbits Lookout in June is always a combination of spring flowers followed by hard packed snow drifts. This year we hit snow within 30 minutes of the trailhead. After we had a snack at the old (falling down) shelter, we started through the woods again on deep snow. In the summer the trail is flat and easy and runs along a rock wall, then across an open talus slope. In the snow nothing is level; tree wells are steep, the surface is uneven and when it is raining, everything is icy! So we couldn’t go very far very fast. Each step was accompanied by a downhill slide and the snow pack was so hard we couldn’t dig our heels in. What to do?? We retreated to our car and drove up the Carpenter Mountain road to try that peak.

What a snow pack! We lost the trail immediately and by 3:30 p.m. decided we’d had enough slipping and sliding and hunting for trails covered by windfalls and snowdrifts and headed for home.

With ice axes we could have reached Tidbits Lookout (I think). Next year we’ll try again—hopefully on a warm, sunny day and soft snow. But we were glad we went. Both hikers learned that their old ponchos were no longer waterproof! The two soggy, slipping, sloshers were Lots Schreiner and leader Phyllis Ford.


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