Beautiful day for a snowshoe trip. I parked at the Touchet Corral trailhead, just north of Bluewood Ski Area. North Fork Touchet River Road was iced but plowed and my AWD was able to make it to the parking area just fine.
I started snowshoeing up the Touchet Corral Trail around 11am. Hiking up was a snap. About four inches of fresh powder had been cut by snow machines earlier that day, so the trail was easy to follow without getting bogged down. There were some real steep spots, and I slowed down a bit around the halfway point, but I made it to the junction in about two hours. About three miles up, the trail flattened out leading to Burnt Flat Corral junction. I headed west along USFS 46 for about three hundred yards and then cut new trail south towards Sawtooth Ridge.
I only made it about a half-mile down the ridge before stopping for lunch. The snowpack was deeper than my waist. Cutting trail in the foot-deep powder took a lot longer than I anticipated, so I ended up turning back before I got a real view. Next time, I'll hitch a ride on a snow machine up the Touchet Corral Trail to save some time.
I tested out my new MSR Pocket Rocket over lunch. Best stove I have ever used – the wind was howling, didn't even skip a beat. My tiny titanium mug just barely fit on the stove, but made my whole cook setup compact and light. Made tea and oatmeal, and ate sardines and chocolate. Weird combo, but definitely gave me a boost for plowing back to the trail.
I really enjoyed cutting new trail in thick powder, just wish I had a little more time to get further down the ridge. I can only imagine the view south towards the Wenaha river.
I need to research how to adjust the bindings on my snowshoes too – the heels of my boots kept slipping inwards, making me walk really pigeon-toed. I didn't trip, but it was a close thing on some steep descents.