When I’d signed up to lead this trip I hadn’t realized it was Easter Sunday. So I wasn’t too surprised when only one person expressed any interest in the trip, and they opted not to come. As an aside, I’ve sometimes heard people say “they don’t want to make me lead a trip” when I tell them they’re the only one signed up. The presence of reports for this trip and the one I did on March 3, both with no other (human) participants, should prove that, at least for me, I’ll probably do the trip whether anyone else joins me or not, and I believe the same is true for many other trip leaders. So don’t worry about being the first or only participant. Anyway, my wife’s dog, Orion, and I reached the almost empty parking areas and started up Butler Lodge trail about 9:20 AM.
The trail was well packed, but was a little slippery to start, as the sun had not yet had a chance to soften up the surface. So I wore micro-spikes, but left snowshoes and poles behind. Even when I stepped off the trail to test the unbroken snow, I didn’t sink very far. The weather was sunny and in the upper 30s as we started, and warmed up to the 40s over the period of our short hike. The snow was still deep enough that the steps and ladder near the top of the trail were completely hidden under slopes of snow.
We reached Butler Lodge around 10:30, then turned around and got back to the parking area by 11:05. No one else was seen on the trail going up or down, although we did see a few skiers on their way up Nebraska Notch when we got back to the car (and Orion was ready to take a second trip with them).
Trip leader: David Hathaway
Participants: Orion Greene (dog)