…..mountain musings from Don and Chris

September 26th, 2012 in Around the Woodstove

Past Articles

This is the time of year when we start to get snow forecasts for the winter.  Although we are hearing a few predictions for an El Nino winter, our friend and mountain meterologist from Washington Online Weather, Michael Fagin, says “not so fast!”  He says it’s still a bit early to know what is going to happen, and promises to keep us updated as forecast models become more reliable.   Watch our website for all the latest winter prognostications!

Back in 1994 it sure seemed that High Camp was a lot more remote than it is today.  A lot of that probably had to do with our transportation system which admittedly was less than stellar in those days.    But actually the bigger reason was the fact that we were truly off the grid.    Other than a VHF radio which sometimes reached down to the bottom of the mountain, there was no other communication system between High Camp and the rest of the world.   That’s right, not even cell phones in our early days!   Nowadays, not only are the cell signals really strong up here, but with smart phones providing easy access to the internet, it feels like it is a lot harder for a guest to escape from the ever-increasing web of modern technology.    Maybe we should simply collect everyone’s various devices before they head up the hill.   OK, we’re joking, but it does seem to us that providing people with a chance to truly decompress and disconnect for awhile may be one of High Camp’s best attributes.  What do you think?

Turkey with all the trimmings is on the lodge activity calendar for the Friday of Thanksgiving Weekend.   This is our first attempt to coordinate this type of holiday gathering with our Opening Weekend guests, and we are pretty excited.    Read more in the current High Camp Happenings article.  Normally by Thanksgiving we have at least a foot of snow on the ground, by the way.

Speaking of upcoming events, you may want to put our annual Trail Marking Party on your radar.   Alas, it is a Monday and Tuesday, December 10 & 11, so that may not work for people who have standard Monday-Friday work obligations.     Despite the fact that it is during the work week, we always seem to get a great crew of 15-20 volunteers. This crew forms teams that ski or snowshoe our entire trail system replacing blue diamonds as necessary and removing branches and other vegetation that may have fallen across the trails.     A great homemade spaghetti dinner highlights Monday evening and our famous High Camp breakfast is served on Tuesday morning.   And the best news is the cost………..zippo!

Smoke Gets in Your Eyes was a great hit by the Platters way back in 1958.   It also is a good descriptor for conditions we had up here for a few days in mid-September.   Although the closest wildfire was at least 20 miles from High Camp, there were days when the prevaling winds and the high volume of smoke combined to basically ruin our view.    We even wound up closing for the third weekend in September, as there were no assurances for good air quality.   It was only our third closure in 18 years, the first being ironically also caused by wildfire smoke back in August, 2000, and the second due to an incredible five-day blizzard in February, 2007, that also closed all major passes in North Central Washington for three days.