On March 7, celebrate at the annual meeting. Next morning, at o'dark hundred hours, the BCT-6 team will depart for the physically and mentally challenging trip of the year. Aaahh…. The enigmatic “Plain of Jars.” Where is this secluded mystical spot in the Boundary Waters and why do so few attain a refuge there in the cold of Minnesota Winter? Rumored to bask in the golden rays of sun when the sky is not cloudy, the Plain of Jars remains an enigma. Pilgrims who undertake arduous journey along the treacherous shoreline of the Cascade River braving deep mountain snow and thin ice, avoiding avalanches and packs of wild wolves (are there any other kind?) to reap the reward of a sight and presence like no other in the BWCA wilds. After miles of snowshoeing, these travelers part high jack pine branches and cones. Here lies the triangular valley with stream of crystal clear mountain water, and edges of the valley that are formed by green conifers and lined with high ridges rising like a medieval fortress walls guarding this garden of Eden against intruders. Those who travel here and set up an overnight are said to be enlightened and coming back refreshed from the positive energy field that emanates from the Plain of Jars. The complete isolation from the modern, hurried pace, results in freedom from any kind of worry, and complete relaxation of the mind.
OK, so up to now you read a trip description that is called "marketing." While this trip is always very rewarding, it is seldom a picnic. Participants need to be in peak physical condition as the snow is often deep, covering up slush and air pockets that will tire out even young athletes. What does the trip involve? Plain of Jars is a three day, two overnights snowcamping, snowshoeing trip on frozen (hopefully) Cascade River and Eagle Mountain Trail. It involves lot of making assesment about safety on river. Go to close to the middle and you will end up in drink. Go to far away from shore line and you will end up in very deep snow, exhausted quickly. We will carry backpacks as sleds would get entangled in brush. Ski poles are recommended and serve as a test pole for ice-worthyness on the river. We usually sleep under a tarp to save on weight. You will need a sleeping bag rated to temperature (zero to ten degrees), waterproof sorel boots, snowshoes, foam pad or air matress, couple of water bottles and a few other things (see gear list in files). Participants bring their own food. Novices with minimum required gear are welcome and Organizer can provide some gear. i.e stove. Transportation is by car pool when practical and its cost shared in addition to the trip registration fee. Participants will receive a map for the trip. This trip is pet and tobacco products free. If you have aversion to "language arts" you may be off better staying home. And the trip is subject to BWAC trip policy listed in the file section. Group dynamics is important here, and all candidates need to attend a pretrip meeting and training hike (TBD). Departure: 7:30 am from north TC burbs on Friday, March 8. Start snowshoeing about 2 pm and proceed till exhausted before camping out. Return: Sunday around 7 pm. Disclaimer: This is an adventure trip, with higher than average risks (i.e. breaking through ice on the river) and participants will be required to sign liability waivers. Important note: Candidates must complete pre-trip assessment before obtaining approval to register for the trip. Contact the organizer.