Postholing Memories

On November 16, 2010, in Adventure, Epic Backcountry Trips, by Meghan

Fall and winter are amidst a duel here in Park City, Utah, on this eastern side of the Wasatch Mountains’ crest. Winter wants to settle in, felling graupel, snow, and a fierce little wind. Fall fights back with good effort, though, clinging tight to browned leaves on trees and burning warm sunshine through snow clouds.

While this atmospheric opposition continues, local folk are talking about winter. They (We?) are ready. Conversation is all ski wax and snowball fights, and, wow, the ski resorts are opening soon! I’m enthusiastic for winter, so long as my body stays warm. When I have the right gear to feel toasty, I like to get after it out there. While scheming and dreaming for this year’s winter, I unearthed a photo from one of last year’s expeditions, one of our Yosemite backcountry snowshoe trips:

Meghan has a postholing accident in the Sierra Nevada (photo by Bryon Powell, March, 2010).

The back story: as we concluded our snowshoeing trip, we descended to lower elevations where the snowpack wasn’t complete. We had taken our snowshoes off and were making a good go of it via hiking. Bryon had crossed this field of snow with little incident but I, on the other hand, fell in to my waist.

This pictured result wasn’t painful or dangerous, merely precarious. There I was, stuffed waist deep in snow with a 40-pound pack on my back. Turtle-like, I rolled out of the hole and crawled across the top of the snow until I could take off my pack and distribute the weight of my pack and my body in separate places. Eventually, my partner in crime put away the camera and stopped laughing long enough to render a bit of help, as well.

While we wait for fall to fly south with the passing flocks of geese and for the winter to get itself over this mountain range’s crest and stay a while, I’ll keep on dreaming. Of past adventures, yep, and futures ones, too.

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12 Responses to “Postholing Memories”

  1. Bryon Powell says:

    Jack almost got smooshed!

  2. Keith says:

    Someone clicked on the ‘go to winter’ button last night!….fall mountain biking yesterday, winter with it’s complete blanket of white and it’s FRESH cool temperatures today! Time to embrace the next 5 months! Banff @ it’s best…

    Enjoy winter in park City Meghan and Bryon!

  3. Ewa says:

    With temperatures hitting 80 in SF Bay Area (crazy, if you ask me), I have a hard time thinking of snow, skiing, or snowshoeing. I am constantly under the impression we are still in early October.

  4. Paige T. says:

    That is too funny 🙂 I’m glad you weren’t hurt doing that!

  5. Meghan says:

    Me too, Paige! It would have been an uncomfortable haul back to the trailhead. Thanks!

  6. JeffO says:

    Many years ago, I was taking big steps through powder coming down Mt Yale when I tripped on a downed tree and went head-first into a ravine, dropping about 5ft while upside-down. That, my friend, was dangerous, and I started suffocating before I eventually swam upright. I wiggled so extremely that my ribcage kept slamming into my pelvis and left my ribs bruised. I try to be a little more careful these days. (I just destroy my shoulders and arms now.)
    As for embarrassment – no witnesses were there, except a squirrel, so maybe it didn’t really happen? If the squirrels laugh at me when I return, then I’ll know they tweeted it all over the squirrelnet.

    • Meghan says:

      JeffO, that is an intense story, entertaining now years later and that you’ve lived to tell it. Indeed, we all should use good care out there. 🙂

  7. Lisa G says:

    Hi Meghan,
    just returned your follow on twitter, and found this hilarious post and picture. I would have done the same – taken a picture first, helped later. We have the same super dry and light snow pack here. Over the weekend we were snowshoeing, tracking a moose hoping for antlers and I kept visualizing the exact thing you have pictured here. thanks for the laugh, and nice to connect with you.

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