8 of us will carpool in 3 cars (4 or 5 seaters) from Safeway to Swampy Lakes Sno Park where passengers will disembark. Drivers, and me if required, will drive on to Vista Butte Sno Park where we will park two cars and carpool back in the 3rd car to Swampy. We will then snowshoe off-trail to the Swampy shelter where we will have a snack and fight with the birds. We will then snowshoe off-trail to a point just north of Vista Butte, climb the northern side of Vista Butte and take in the views. We'll snowshoe along the top of Vista Butte and descend its western side before snowshoeing off-trail to Vista Butte Sno Park. We'll pile into the 2 cars we left there, drive to Swampy to pick up the 3rd car and head back to Safeway, where we will meet a man with a fox, a chicken and a sack of corn, and he will be impressed.
A long Level 4. My guestimate is 4-5 hours of snowshoeing plus break time. Total ascent about 800 feet. I'm not going to post a mileage because I think it would mislead more people than it would inform; off-trail snowshoeing is much harder than on-trail snowshoeing, which is itself harder than hiking on a dry trail. If you could do a long Level 4, about 12 miles and 1000ft height gain on a dry trail then you can probably do this. If you come you will be expected to take your turn breaking trail. No shirkers please! Medium pace, I'm still recovering from a knee injury.
A baseplate compass with a rotating bezel marked in degrees is required equipment for this trip. You will be referring to it when you are breaking trail. If you get separated from the group for any reason try retracing your steps. If that doesn't work use your compass to walk south until you hit Century Drive, and then east to the Swampy Sno Park.
No guests. Every attendee must be a member of Meetup and RSVP in their own right. No dogs please.
Meet in/outside the Century Drive Starbucks at 8am, the stand-alone store not the one in Safeway. Please park in the NW corner of the parking lot near the roundabout. We'll need drivers. Drivers will need to have 4 or 5 seats and Sno-Park passes.
This is a small group so please keep your RSVPs up to date. It isn't fair if someone on a waiting list doesn't get to go, or someone else is deterred from signing up at all, and then you no-show.