Trip Date: March 7, 2015

Trip Location: Burnt Mountain: Carrabassett Valley, Maine

Trip Type: Snowshoeing

Trip Difficulty: 3.1

There we were, facing the goliath of rock that stood unmoving, unfaltering, unyielding to any force of nature. Burnt Mountain. The beast. The ice monster. The challenge. We were going to climb it and conquer it. Nothing could stop us. There we were, facing the goliath.

We set off, trekking the snowy path that drifted and sloped, winding around tawny birch trees and shivering pines that peppered the mountainside with spurts of green. We were shivering and sniffling in our snowshoes but soon the blazing sun put beads of sweat upon our brows, forcing us to remove layers. The ski trail was packed and smooth so we made excellent time to Burnt Mountain Trail. Upon arrival, we caught our breaths before continuing our schlep through the powder.

The real journey began once our boots hit the trail. The group muscled through the cold, churning up snow fine as confectioner’s sugar, stubborn as mules. The hike seemed to drag on but we refused to give into the cold that gnawed at our legs and bit at our faces.

IMG_2631

Suddenly, a Yeti leapt out from behind a rocky alcove where it was lurking. The hulking, hairy beast whipped its white claws at us, roaring ferociously. Someone had worn cotton…and Yetis love eating cotton. Knowing this, we fought back. We threw snowballs and chunks of ice at the furry animal. Then, out of nowhere, it snatched up our courageous leader, Gregory, and gobbled him down. This was Gregory’s last snowshoe before graduation and we were not going to let it end like this. We gathered our resources and bombarded the beast until he spat Gregory, still thrashing, out of his mouth. The Yeti knew then that we could not be beaten! It whimpered and slipped back into its cave, never to be seen again. (This would have been totally awesome if it actually happened but as it turns out, Yetis are very peaceful and reasonable creatures so instead of fighting, we shared some of Gregory’s Nutella with it and swapped riddles.) Cool beans!

IMG_2641

The author of this blog post. Multiply this by eight, and this is how we felt during the hike.

We said our farewells to our Yeti pal and dove back into our strenuous hike. The next section was steep and unrelentingly slippery. Finally, we wound our way past the last scraggly, stunted tree and emerged onto the wind-swept land above tree line. Rocks littered our path with sharp edges and jagged points but we found a spot to eat lunch. After our short break, we pushed through the last bit of icy incline and breached the top of the mountain. We summited the beast at last! We were there going camera crazy, taking pictures of peaks and hills in every direction.

IMG_2633 IMG_2638

We soon became extraordinarily cold being exposed on top of Burnt Mountain so we shimmied back down. We almost lost a few trippers to the deep snow. They sunk through and fell but they persevered through the giggling and hysteria and we all made it safely back down to the car.

IMG_2649

Our next hike began at the base of the Sugarloaf Lodge. This was the most difficult part of the trip. We had to hike steep staircases and maneuver around boisterous skiers and snowboarders. At last we reached our desired destination: the restrooms. After we summited that, we packed up the gear and drove back home to Colby.