Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Mt. Pinos

A chilly, mid-season rainstorm merely dusts our local foothills with snow (that rapidly melts off in the morning sun) but leaves almost a foot of fresh powder on Mt. Pinos. We must go.

Our original plan is to snow shoe down the backside of Sawmill to the Pine Mountain Club - but road closures force us to an alternate route. Parking at the Y, we set out up the first extremely steep drainage, Sierra ecstatically wallowing about in the deep drifts, eyes shining, tongue lolling.

D breaks trail for us at an astonishingly rapid pace. Cold, sleepy muscles protesting, lungs burning, we finally intersect the trail that leads to Mt. Pinos Camp. The way is still relentlessly uphill, but breath comes more easily. The view out across the Frazier Park corridor is lovely - to the East lies the tail end of the Tehachapis, just faintly visible along the horizon.

At lunch, the conversation is warm, relaxed. There is a stong sense of connection to friends old and new; one feels connected too, to both earth and sky, heart wide open.

As we descend, tendrils of warm mist rise up from the valley, gradually enveloping the surrounding hills, light and shadow chasing across the plain below.

Then the long drive home in soggy boots, head aching slightly from altitude and exertion.