First, the mile and half packed/groomed sled trail/forest road was incredibly steep and though I thought I could herringbone my way up while pulling Forest in the Chariot, I was WRONG.
Thankfully, my husband gave up his skins (Cue frustrated Sam ;)) because I did not actually expect to need mine. Oops. Major preparedness fail! Then, even with skins, the uphill didn’t allow me to go fast enough to sooth the little one to sleep in the Chariot.
Cue baby in meltdown mode.
I quickly ended up carrying Forest in the Ergo; my camera, water, and snacks in a hip pack Mountainsmith Day pack; and kept the empty Chariot strapped to my waist.
Honestly, it was slightly treacherous. Too steep, too much food, too warm, too high-energy dogs. Too Everything! But when we finally got to the yurt, all that (kind of) melted away…
Until we realized the wood was wet and the wood stove was not functioning well.
Cue cold, tired (but somehow still cheerful!), EVERYONE.
The good news? The skies were gorgeous day and night and even with temps dipping below zero overnight, a half-working wood stove, a minor dog fight, and a nearly 100% filled outhouse, We (somehow) still had so Much FUN!
Was it the whiskey?
No, no…it was being in the wilderness with good friends and taking our awesome boys along to experience it!!
And, though the skiing was enjoyable once all of our gear was unloaded, lounging around the yurt was actutally Really fun, too (and warm during the daylight hours thanks to solar exchange!)….
In the end, the trip was actually the perfect shakedown option. It pushed us to our limits and taught us some important lessons and things to think about like:
- what WORKS and what DOESN’T WORK (e.g., terrain, carrying/packing systems, dog personalities near the yurt, etc.)
- what gear to take (I will always take my skins now!) and how much food we “really” need
- attitude and perspective are everything and sometimes you just need to give your partner some space to cool down and take some turns down the nearby hill 😉
The Jon Wilson Yurt, in my opinion, was an amazing trip. We proved (to ourselves, at least) that babies are awesome in the backcountry and though I was frustrated with the terrain at times (and felt really guilty for taking Sam’s ski skins) it gave me the confidence I needed for our next adeventure…a 6 mile ski to Tomichi Lodge!