a walk in the park

I just returned from three days at diamond head. It was an adventure in support of a research project being done by Miki. She is investigating the effects of crowding on visitor experience in parks and is using this area as her focus. If you have ever spent time at red heather or elfin lakes shelter, I know she would love to love to get your input. Let me know and I will connect you.

The trip started pleasantly enough with packs on our backs as we ascend the well trodden trail from the parking lot to the red heather hut and beyond to the the elfin lakes shelter.

Miki charges forth into the unknown. Actually she had been here before. Miki charges forth into the somewhat known.

Miki charges forth into the unknown. Actually she had been here before. Miki charges forth into the somewhat known.

We took breaks as needed.

All breaks were well earned.

All breaks were well earned.

And it started to snow.

Miki is a trooper. This is what her smile looks like when it is still genuine.

Miki is slaying the vert. This is what her smile looks like when it is still genuine.

The 450 m up and 5 km long trek to red heather took about 2 hours. Then it started to snow even more. So we had to start breaking trail. The trip from red heather to elfin, about 250 m up and about 6 km long, took about 2.5 hours. The snow storm made it tough to see very far. So did dusk.

Visibility was "poor". Wits and instincts were "awesome".

Visibility was “poor”. Wits and instincts were “awesome”.

We eventually reached the cabin.

Much cozier on the inside.

Much cozier on the inside.

Prevailing winds were out of the right.

winter + beard = rad

winter + beard = rad

The snowfall stopped in the night. A midnight pee yielded the most spectacular view of the trip for me. The nearly full moon was lighting up all the surrounding mountains. I could see stars and the moon clearly. I took a mind photo. In the morning the view was still pretty good.

beauty way to go

beauty way to go

Miki and I strapped our skis back on and did a bit of exploring. The snow was super wet and heavy and the diffuse light made it very difficult to see terrain features.

Long range navigation may have improved but the snow surface is so smooth and the light so diffuse that short range navigation is still almost impossible. Sometimes we just walked right into a snow drift.

Long range visibility may have improved but the snow surface is so smooth and the light so diffuse that short range navigation is still almost impossible. Sometimes we just walked right into a snow drift.
Wacky stuff

As potential respondents arrived at the cabin we changed to research mode and Miki put her head into the surveys.

"work" is not the obvious choice of activity when you are high in the mountains

“work” is not the obvious choice of activity when you are high in the mountains

It snowed all afternoon and night. For the journey out we were breaking trail again. This time the snow was really heavy and very deep. Official reports from the surrounding area at similar altitudes are saying it was up to 175 cm of freshies.

The trees looked like magic and offered the only glimpse into the shape of terrain features

The trees looked like magic and offered the only glimpse into the shape of terrain features

Our descent from the elfin cabin back to the red heather hut took 4.5 hours. It was an exhausting slog. But we prevailed.

this is what Miki looks like when she is ready to be done slaying the vert

this is what Miki looks like when she is ready to be done slaying the vert

This is what I look like when being worn down by gnar

This is what I look like when I am being worn down by gnar

At red heather we once again hit a trodden track and we were actually able to ski. The 5 km zip down to the car took under 30 minutes. It was easy to find our parking spot. Not so easy to find the car.

I'm pleased to report this was the only thing we needed our shovels for

I’m pleased to report this was the only thing we needed our shovels for

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One Response to a walk in the park

  1. Smithe St. Doug says:

    Winter + beard = all artifice and civilization stripped away revealing the true K. All right, it’s a long formula, but it’s a complicated analysis.

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