The snow shoe to Brandenburg Shelter at Ray Benson Snow Park is 7.4 miles. We got to the trail-head early on a Friday morning. It was a cloudy 35 degrees when we headed out on the South Loop. There were several inches of perfect, fresh, white snow on the trail and trees and a remarkable quiet in the air.
Our strong leaders easily broke trail through the powdery snow. After a couple of miles the trail curved west, went past the place where the PCT intercepts and came to a sign for Brandenburg Shelter in half a mile. This trail circled around Brandenburg Butte. At one point near a sign post in the ground, the blue diamonds became difficult to spot. We kept to the right going around the butte and the diamonds soon reappeared. We followed the diamonds around to the north side of the butte then turned right a very short distance downhill to the shelter (N 44* 23.148' W 121* 50.365' ).
There was a lone skier just leaving when we arrived at the shelter. He left us a cozy fire, which everyone enjoyed warming their hands over during lunch. Early afternoon, as we traced our track back, the sun emerged along with patches of brilliant blue sky. Although Three Finger Jack and Mount Washington remained elusively in the clouds, the afternoon sun revealed smashing views of Hayrick Butte and other surrounding hills. After a week of rain and gray, it was a joy to be tracking together on the white trails, with the sounds of snow melting from the trees and the feel of the warm sun shinning down on us.Members: Daphne James, Lynn Meacham, David Lodeesen, Tom Rundle, Marguerite Cooney, Darian Morray, Brad Bennett, Mike Smith, Keiko Bryan.
On the way: Keiko, Dave L, Marguerite and Tom—photo by Darian Morray
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