The day started off early with a nice surprise of seeing about 10 inches of fresh fluffy snow on our drive up. Feeling adventurous, we decided to park in the Underhill State Park parking lot, right by the trailhead. We love to hike, but don’t necessarily prefer road walking. : ) Amazingly enough, the cars were like the Little Engine that Could…they just kept trucking right up to the lot despite the road conditions. In the process of getting the cars turned around we did have to dig one out. It was more of a team building exercise than anything else. Everyone got involved. After our warm up of digging snow, we started up the Sunset Ridge Trail.

The temperature was in the mid teens at the base and was fairly cloudy as we couldn’t see the summit. About 15 minutes in we did have a tragic loss of coveted hot chocolate as it began leaking out of one of the hiker’s pack. But not to worry, Trigger the only dog attending, surely ate the snow where the hot chocolate leaked. She apparently also practices “Leave No Trace”. Onward we pushed through fluffy snow with a couple of surprises of the snow collapsing underneath us. The trail was gorgeous with heavy snow on the trees that worked its way down our necks as we brushed underneath them. As we hiked just above treeline, we were greeted with icy rocks and windy conditions.

A couple of us decided at this point, that it might be best for some to turn around and let the dog warm up as she was shivering. Others bravely pushed onward to face more wind and more ice. Given the conditions, they wisely also turned around before the summit. At the base, we enjoyed some gingersnap cookies and a nice view of the mountain as the sky had cleared and left brilliant blue skies.

Participants: Phil Hazen, Robynn Albert, Robert Riversong, Lynda Hutchins, Taylor Christie

Trip Leader: Kelley Mackison and her dog Trigger.