20-21 Mar 04
04 Apr 04 YB
0900 -- Met as scheduled at the OHP. Divided into cars.
0930 -- Departed in two cars (Fitzmaurice van and YJB car)
1030 -- Arrived at Chippewa Trailhead on Limekiln Rd.
1200 -- Lunch at lower lunch rock. Weather: snow squalls.
1400 -- Arrived at summit. Pitched camp.
1500 -- Made an excursion to Tipping Rock.
1630 -- Dinner
1900 -- Contacted ham radio station W1AOK via the Moose Mt repeater, and passed a message to Mr. Hoge to pick us up at the Benton trailhead rather than the Limekiln Rd trailhead. Evening weather.
2030 -- All in bed. Weather overnight was alternating snow squalls and sleet.
0630 -- Everyone up and working on breakfast.
0800 -- Mr. Hoge arrived via the Black Mt. Trail from Benton! He was carrying spare snowshoes, crampons, ice axes and other goodies.
0930 -- Everyone packed. Depart for Benton on the Black Mt. Trial
1130 -- Arrived Benton trailhead. Two drivers drove around to Limekiln Rd to pick up the other vehicles, and returned to pick up the troop.
1230 -- Departed for Hanover.
This destination continues to serve well as a challenging hike for the less experienced and an interesting hike for the more experienced.
Snow depth was minimal (it's been a dry winter), so no snowshoes were required for snow, but scouts quickly turned to their snowshoes for the crampons. The trail was very slippery. Those that had crampons used them the whole climb. On the descent, the snow was deeper, and snow shoes were useful if not required.
We had some trouble with stove operation among the less experienced.
This was a successful outing. The weather was severe enough to make things interesting, but not so bad as to actually endanger anyone or cause too much discouragement.
In March--even late March--the Chippewa trail is very icy.
The weather in March can still be quite severe.
The trail now skirts the beaver ponds, so the temptation to venture onto the ice is much reduced.
Some scouts had difficulty with stove operation. Backup stoves came in handy.
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