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Overnight Snowshoe and Camp in the Snow

You read that correctly. Some of us love winter nights and want to spend it nestled in our sleeping bags under starry skies (or whatever conditions we find). A few of us are committing to backpack and snowshoe to a safe destination to camp for the night.
We are planning for at least a two hour hike up via snowshoes. We are leaving at about 6:30 in case anyone working that day wants to join us. Also, we are planning on each bringing our own, already made/bought dinner up, to be eaten at a rest stop along the way (or before if you are hungry early on), then setting up camp, heating water for hot chocolate, tea, or instant soup and enjoying some light snacks. We will probably hit the sack early since we will probably be warmest doing so. The next morning we will rise and try to shine and head back, patting ourselves on the back that we made it through the night.

Where?  See Bill's description in the comments below.  Understand that we are not going up to Twin Peaks (yikes! not me), but we are hiking the trail leading up that direction, camping in the meadow.  The hike should be long enough to have us huffing and puffing and well warmed up.  As far as meeting up below the trailhead, I'm not sure.  As I remember, the Park n Ride does not allow overnight parking.  We may want to find a spot in one of the neighborhoods for ride sharing.

You will need: snowshoes, backpack, zero degree or warmer sleeping bag, tent (preferably for colder conditions), plenty of layers for your feet up to your head (I'm thinking of getting a full face mask to sleep in), water in bottles, tp, your dinner, snacks, and an adventurous attitude. Look in to what else you may need.

This is a go at your own risk event. Those of us leading it are no experts on winter camping; we just want to do it and are inviting you to join us in this likely beautiful moonlit adventure.

What to Bring: Here's a list to work from. Again, we are going just one night and we probably won't cook full meals, just warm drinks and coffee/tea/hot chocolate in the morning. So, cooking gear won't be very necessary and I think we can share bringing some of the other items.

From Backpacker Magazine: http://www.backpacker.com/fall-gear-guide-09-winter-camping-winter-checklist/skills/13476

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  • mike

    that was sweet. We need to bring wood for a fire next time.

    1 · January 4, 2014

  • eran

    Hi guys - My tarp and sleeping bag started to leak / soak and I decided to hike down. Looking forward to next meeting. E.

    January 4, 2014

    • Dustin

      Wish I could have made it. I think over packing and the hills are what finally killed my knees. Maybe next time on flatter hike and less weight. Thanks for having me with the group!

      January 4, 2014

    • Linda

      Hi Dustin, I wish you could have made it. It was a tough hike and with a pack on I was cursing on the way up parts of that steep trail. I'm hoping to do this again and on maybe an easier hike. I will email you if I do so that you can know about it. I hope to see you at other meetups. Utah Outdoor Sports has so many great hikes and always nice people (from my experience). Happy hiking.

      January 4, 2014

  • Linda

    What a great trip with really nice people. I want to do it again. I look forward to the photos people are going to upload (the first 19 are from our reconnaissance hike earlier in the week).

    January 4, 2014

    • Linda

      I was delighted to see that 12 people showed up.

      January 4, 2014

  • Dustin

    I've decided to go, but probably be about 10 min. Late

    January 3, 2014

  • eran

    I was planning to be at the trailhead

    January 3, 2014

  • mike

    so i m planning on parking off the road by the trailhead. I can accommodate 1 other person. Are we meeting at the trailhead?

    January 3, 2014

  • eran

    Bill - do you think YakTrax would work better than snowshoes ?

    January 3, 2014

    • Linda

      When we hiked up a few nights ago, I thought yak traks or microspikes would have worked. There were a few spots where it got mushy and I was glad to have the snow shoes. For stamping down your campsite, snow shoes will make the difference. I am bringing a light weight telescoping shovel you could borrow after we are done. If it snows much at night, the snowshoes might come in handy. I wonder what Bill thinks.

      January 3, 2014

    • Bill C.

      Catherine went up yesterday with regular hiking shoes. She plans to do the same today. I will have snow shoes as a precaution and to help mat down the snow when we're up there. However, we could all be in boots and YakTrax and still be okay. We are expecting some light snow.

      January 3, 2014

  • Linda

    Counting the two people who are coming from other groups, we are up to 10 people.

    January 1, 2014

    • Linda

      Bill, you might be hiking down with them before us. But that's okay. Can you increase your RSVP to 4?

      January 2, 2014

    • Bill C.

      My RSVP is maxed out. The highest I can do is +2. The good news is that there is no practice. They don't need to leave early. Besides, if I'm warm, I'm not getting up earlier than I need to.

      1 · January 3, 2014

  • Linda

    If anyone needs to contact me or would like to use my house as a place to park their car overnight (I have a longish driveway and people do park overnight on the street nightly and I live just south of Sugarhouse not far from i-80) if they are ride sharing. We could take one more person in Michele's car. Here's my number[masked]

    January 3, 2014

  • Bill C.

    My sister and my niece are coming with us. Yesterday, they went up and dug partial snow caves and left two sleeping bags and two tarps up there. They plan to not use snowshoes. They said if they can't be warm at night, they plan to get up and hike back down.

    My two boys and I will meet up with them at the parking (Inside the top of the "S" of the "S" curve) at 6pm. We look forward to seeing you all there by 6:30!

    1 · January 3, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Any idea if one can ski down? I'm tempted to bring my backcountry skis.

    January 2, 2014

    • Linda

      I did see back country ski tracks (one set, it seemed) often near our trail. Can you do that with a big pack on? I'd crash into a tree the minute I'd start. It's a pretty steep trail too.

      January 2, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      Hmm, maybe safer to familiarize myself with the trail the first time.

      January 3, 2014

  • Trish

    This is so bad arse! Have fun everyone!! :)

    January 2, 2014

    • Linda

      Trish, you could just hike up with us friday night and then head back. Thanks. Hmm, bad arse sounds good. I think I'll wear the term.

      January 2, 2014

  • Dustin

    Seriously thinking about going tomorrow, but not sure I'm fit enough right now. Been eating and being lazy from the holidays the last few months. Haven't even put my snowshoes on this winter. Got any other fat kids going?

    January 2, 2014

    • Linda

      Hi Dustin, There's not a set pace on the trail. I haven't had a backpack on for a very long time. If you take longer, you can just meet us at the top. We are not super athletic, just sturdy hikers (and I don't know everyone joining us). If you want to go and have all the supplies for winter camping, do it.

      1 · January 2, 2014

  • eran

    I plan to be there...

    1 · January 1, 2014

  • Linda

    Fun idea: if someone didn't want to/couldn't do the whole night, they could snowshoe up with us for a beautiful, rigorous evening stroll. Or, in the morning, you could rise early and snowshoe up with hot cocoa. You'd have friends for life. :-)

    December 31, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Confirming that I plan to attend this event.

    1 · December 31, 2013

  • Bill C.

    The proposed location for this hike is 2 miles up the Broads Fork trail located 4 miles up Big Cottonwood Canyon. I have hiked this trail many times in the summer and camped at this meadow. This is a very beautiful area. It's relatively close to the canyon road and is low risk area for avalanche danger. In the summer, I can run it in an hour, walk it in 1.5 hours, and backpack it in 2 hours. I expect we could snow shoe it in 3 hours. I plan to sleep in a snow cave. I have never done it before, so I plan to learn more about it before we go. I'm told they are a toasty warm 32 degrees F. http://www.trails360.com/hikes/view/broads_fork_twin_peaks

    1 · December 28, 2013

    • Bill C.

      I have sent a description of our route and dates to the Utah Avalanche Center. Based on their website information and conditions, our route looks good. I will post a reply once I hear back from them. I know this trail well. Based on http://utahavalanchec...­ our route looks great.

      1 · December 30, 2013

    • Bill C.

      Thanks for checking with us. Yes, the entire lower section of Broads Fork is quite safe. If you go above the "Beaver Ponds" where you get your first view of the upper cirque, then things start to get dangerous.

      Bruce Tremper

      1 · December 30, 2013

  • Linda

    Michele, Bill and I did the hike this evening to check out the logistics, safety, etc. It will be a rigorous hike. The first and last parts are steep but doable. We made it up without a pack in two hours or less. I think it took us about an hour to get back down. Hiking poles seem wise for those steep parts, especially with a heavy pack on. I'd say snow shoes would be wise, especially for stamping down a tent site. The parking area will hold several cars; I'd recommend good ttires or a care that can get through some snow...it's mostly packed down.

    Good news: The Utah Avalanche Center said our trail is very safe.

    We are excited about going. Please do your research about warmth.

    December 30, 2013

  • Linda

    REI has two 4-seaon tent rentals left (one two person and one three person) http://www.rei.com/stores/salt-lake-city.html

    December 30, 2013

  • Linda

    Great info. on winter/snow camping on this site. I'm using it to plan for my comfort and safety. Worth reading through. http://www.princeton.edu/%7Eoa/winter/wintcamp.shtml

    December 29, 2013

  • Mandy

    bring one of those little aluminum-foil looking blankets and an extra pair of warm socks too. You can wrap it around your bag and pile your gear on top of you at night for warmth. If you have a fleece sleeping bag liner those are also nice. You will want to consider sharing a tent with someone.... it makes a HUGE difference. This may be the coldest night you will ever spend... know that before you go and plan accordingly. If I go I'll take a beacon. Everything you can do to add warmth will be priceles (like wearing a beanie when you sleep). Warm drinks and meals and little touches of "comfort" like baileys for your morning coffee will be savored:) and that instant cook oatmeal is also a quick breakfast. Is the trail dog friendly? Sounds like fun...

    December 29, 2013

    • Linda

      Thanks for the great suggestions. No dogs are allowed up any of the Big or Little Cottonwood Canyons.

      December 29, 2013

  • Linda

    A heads up: We are confirming the avalanche safety of our spot, which is just two miles up Broads Fork Trail (and not the higher area, which would be concerning). If we feel the location is not safe enough, we will change the location to Dog Lake or another low risk area. Suggestions welcome. If we change, we will let you know early this week (likely tomorrow).

    December 29, 2013

  • Linda

    What a really lovely group of people signed up. I hope you can all make it.

    December 28, 2013

  • Linda

    Yes, Claire, for better or frostbite, we are going. If you were at REI, they should be able to help you with what you need. I'm still going to urge everyone to have sleeping bags rated for freezing or colder. I know that when I camp during the winter or fall and it's cold out that I got cold in my 15 or 20 degree bag. I'm sure those times weren't at our winter temperatures. By the way, REI does rent sleeping bags and other gear. I may rent a winter tent if I can't borrow one.

    December 28, 2013

  • Claire

    You really are going? Depends on the gears. Should we meet before and maybe a trip to REI together?

    December 28, 2013

  • Bridgette H.

    This event really has my interest... But I'm new to the snow n need tips. I have a good bag, snowpants, n snowshoes. What else should i expect?

    December 27, 2013

    • Linda

      Layers of clothes, a tent, and backpack to carry it all in. Perhaps others will have tents to share. I'm trying to get a two person and am planning on sharing with a friend who is coming. I think the smaller the tent the warmer. To be quite honest, I've never camped out in the snow before. I'm going to google it and find out the necessities. Anyone else feel free to add your thoughts (accept that I'm crazy to do this :-)

      December 27, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Awesome!

    December 27, 2013

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