Lost Wonder Hut Trip, 03/26-28/17
In the Fall we were able to plan far enough ahead to snag a couple of nights at the Lost Wonder Hut over Spring break. Eichmann's and Stergius' were quickly on-board, as were the Mascarenas' once presented with the idea of going off the grid. Meals were planned, gear was packed, and 14 of us (and Toby dog) got to the trailhead on Sunday. John, Caden, and the Eich's started up the trail shortly before us. The snow started about 25ft up the trail so we loaded up sleds there, and I strapped on skis... the others had snowshoes but the trail was packed down enough that they weren't needed. Miles, Ary, Charlie, and Coco quickly wore themselves out playing around in the snow. The first half mile is the steepest of the 3 miles and 1200ft gain, and there were two patches of dry trail to drag the sleds over. Time went quickly with conversation and laughs while the kids got into a rhythm and Coco hitched a ride on Jesse's sled. A brief snow shower blew in and out, and after just over two hours the hut was in sight. The kids claimed bunks and started sledding, the parents unpacked, and relaxing with beverages began. John and I did a quick ski run behind the hut and soon after we were eating meatloaf and mashed potatoes. YUM! It was an early night for all and the stars blanketed the sky.
Monday morning started with the usual hut chores of chopping wood, starting a fire, and cooking a breakfast feast. The kids suited up for sledding while a group of us headed up Mt. Aetna. Snow conditions in the Grand Couloir were good enough for us to head up the side on snowshoes. As things got steeper the snow got punchy. I kept going with about 500' to the summit while the rest turned around. Another 13er in the books! Coming down was interesting with careful steps until the slope eased. I caught up with Jean, Jesse, Robyn, and John and we glissaded down giggling like school girls. Good times.
Back at the hut, sledding and snow-fort building was the theme of the day. We had snacks then I headed out for a ski run with John and Caden. Jesse was busy behind the hut building an epic snow slide with the kids. Soon after all of the kids were taking turns sliding down and wiping out, all while trying to get to the back/bottom of the igloo. Crashes were had and laughs were a-plenty. Dinner that night was chili over Frito's followed by S'mores again. While the kids were playing upstairs, Charlie caught her foot in the loft ladder and took a dive to the ground. All of our heart stopped as we ran upstairs. Fortunately she was okay despite a bruised and sore face. OUCH!
Sunday morning was another breakfast feast then packing and cleaning up. As always, it was fun to live off of the grid for a couple of nights and learn to appreciate flushing toilets and running water. It was impressive that 14 of us only filled one small bag of trash over three days and two nights. The hike out went quick followed by a pizza lunch at Amica's in Salida then back home to reality.