The 9th installment of Man Camp was certainly one of the best we’ve ever had. What made this year great was not what happened during Man Camp, but what happened before we ever arrived. On Tuesday morning I awoke to find that for the first time in over a month a major storm cycle had set its course to the Continental Divide as it crosses Berthoud Pass.
The clouds never broke on Tuesday and as Wednesday began to unfold it was evident that those clouds were not going to break anytime soon. Another double digit snow day at 9,100 feet was promising for where we would make camp at 11,100 feet.
The snow continued to fall throughout Wednesday morning and as we approached the parking lot that afternoon the road had obviously not been plowed. Ignoring our cumulative common sense we proceeded up the road, pushing forward with high hopes and as much inertia as we could gather. It proved however to be insufficient, and we found ourselves buried on the side of the road. We unloaded some of our supplies, hoping that a reduction in weight would help us escape our roadside prison. For over an hour and a half we concocted one failed plan after another until we were ready to admit defeat and leave the vehicle for another day. It wasn’t until our friends at Powder Addiction offered the use of their snowcat that we were pulled free from our ditch of gloom.
Hours behind schedule we hurriedly set up camp as darkness set in. The snow was relentless and by morning had covered up many of the items we had brought in the previous night.
Other than simply setting up camp there was serious work to be done, like convincing other people to chop down some trees.
With all that snow the sledding and riding were just out of control. There were areas where the snow was 4-5 feet deep and made it difficult to even keep the sleds floating on top of the snow.
At the end of the day we could fire up the stove, dry out our wet gear, and have a warm meal.
Until next year…