Submitted by Pip Hunt on Wed, 2011-04-27 10:58.
Last weekend was SheJumps Annual Winter Camping Trip. SheJumps is a non-profit organization that aims to get more girls involved in the outdoors. The Annual Winter Camping trip is an intro to winter camping, snow analysis, and a good time with some adventure loving ladies. This year, we joined forces with White Pine Touring in Park City and hiked to the Castle Peak Yurt in the Uintas. We still dug in a tent for extra warm snow sleeping and wind protection and learned how to build a snow cave, but the yurt did make our winter camping a little plusher than previous years. A few of us had attended previous winter camping trips with SheJumps but for many, it was their introduction to winter camping. Camping in a yurt, with meals prepared by Liz Sherry, who is in the midst of culinary school, is not exactly roughing it. But after last weekend in Bishop, I was just find with some luxury camping.
Castle Peak Yurt is a 6.5 skin in, which took us about 5 ½ hours moving at a leisurely pace, and enjoying lunch in the spring sunshine along the way. The badass award definitely goes to Lindsay Van, whose feet started to bleed a couple miles in, yet she continued to hike to the yurt in her approach shoes. After everybody got settled in, Re, Nat and I set up my Thor 3p tent. After digging our tent zone big enough for the tent, we built up the walls, castle style (like three little girls in a sand pit, really) and buried the pegs into the snow. Before tucking in for the night, we sat down to eat a delicious dinner of pulled pork and Portobello mushroom tacos.
The first night, Nat, Hannah, Emily and I slept in my tent. It was definitely the warmest night I’ve ever spent winter camping, and I quickly abandoned my hot water bottle that I usually cling to all night long. I’m not sure if it was my new Helium 15 degree bag or the four of us packed like sardines into the tent that kept me warm, but it was definitely cozy!
After eating our fill of potatoes, scrambled eggs, bacon, homemade granola, coffee cake, and strawberries for breakfast, we geared up to ski nearby Castle Peak and dig some snow pits for snow analysis. The warm sun from the day before had been replaced with grapple, fog, and a frozen layer of snow underfoot. Since the ski conditions were far from perfect, we spent most of the day digging; digging snow pits, snow bowling, snow angels, and digging a snow cave. The snow cave ended up being so addictive (what kid doesn’t like building tunnels in the snow?) that some of us were digging away long past dinner time. It was only Liz’s threatening to put dinner away that brought us inside to eat. Alas, all of the digging tuckered us out, and the anticipated dance party didn’t happen. Yet dance party or no dance party, it was still one hell of a weekend with the girls!
The next morning, after another epic breakfast from Liz, we packed up the tent and yurt, and buried in our snow cave (which was kind of heartbreaking, but fun!), we struggled into our packs and made our way back to the car. Since it was such a flat, long, skin in, it was hardly a real ski down, but definitely enough to make my thighs burn underneath the weight of my pack!
We took over the parking lot taking off boots, taking photos, and hula hooping. The sky had started to rain just a little bit and it was looking like we had finished just in time. Just as our post tour celebrations were at their peak, a lone ranger pulled up, flabbergasted by the sheer quantity of girl’s hula hooping in ski gear at the trail head. “All you ladies and no male leadership?” he asked. Heck YES! That is what SheJumps is all about. And yes, I think we did just find all weekend without and male leadership.