Mystery Ski Trip

December 17, 2003

As Bob Burnett’s vehicle was the only one large enough to accommodate all four of us and all of our gear comfortably, Laurie Funkhouser, Peter Graham and I bungied our skis on top, tossed our packs & poles in back, climbed on board, and let him drive us to our previously unknown trip starting point—the East Odell Lodge.

As none of us had been on this trail to Fawn Lake before, it took a bit of time to find the trail. It would have been a bit easier if we had noticed the sign pointing the way to the Crater Butte Trail that’s right by the bridge. After finding and crossing the railroad tracks, we wandered through the brush a bit, finally finding a distinct trail. (On our return, we found the trailhead sign on the Lodge side of the tracks.) There was a slight depression in the new snow—evidence that someone had been that way before.

Trail breaking was not very difficult as the new snow wasn't too deep, and was fairly light and dry. Occasional sunshine brightened up the day, in contrast to the dreariness back in town, but the temperature remained fairly cool. The trail is marked with tree blazes every 50 to 100 feet, but we lost them after ¾ mile or so. At that point I led the group up a steep slope to the ridge, then we continued in a westerly direction.

After lunching in the sun, dodging occasional snow bombs, we again headed west until my GPS indicated we were near the point where the trail heads south towards Fawn Lake. We headed south for a while, but then decided to turn back as it became apparent that it would be dark by the time we got back to the car if we were to continue all the way to Fawn Lake.

Back at the bend, we met some people more familiar with the trail than we were who had been able to follow it up that far, so we returned in their tracks, enjoying many long, easy glides the rest of the way back.

—Wayne Deeter, leader

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