We’ve all done some stupid things in our lives, no doubt, but we put a top 5 selection up there yesterday with a mid to late afternoon jaunt up Lief Erickson right during the meat of the snow storm. What seemed like a good idea went really well until we saw the obvious in that Cross bikes weren’t going to cut it past mile 5. It seemed like a 2 hour struggle just to get that far as the snow drifted and worked against us. 5 miles up. Long. Slippy. There were a few tire tracks already laid down, but if there were folks farther back than 2 hours from when we went, chances are good their tracks were completely snowed over. We saw 5 folks on the way down on bikes, all other souls save for two were of the skiing variety.
Hudson moves ahead…..damn fat tires!
John Beer, Carrie Veloforma, Mark, 3 Ironclad (Dave, Kristin, Hudson), and Heidi and Sal, all thought going vertical into the teeth of a blizzard would be wise. All of the aforementioned folks need their heads examined. Heidi and Sal made the best move in turning back before the higher elevations. Dave, John, and Carrie were simply stuck by the poweline portion of the trail, their CX wheels unable to turn anymore in the deepening snow. Greg and Mark, on mountain bikes, made it to the predetermined turnaround spot but when others didn’t follow, they turned for home too.
Passages from Krakauer’s “Into Thin Air” played back in folks’ minds – we need to turn around to go home, and it’s going to take a while to get down this bitch, or we’re goners. Never before had this group ever seen a Lief ride where going down was harder than going up. Before heading down the hill, we pulled out a few Olympias well on their way to being frozen through, and also an MP3 player with some external speakers, to listen to Metallica’s “Am I Evil”. We also documented the depth of the snow for you.
They stand alone…..
It looked akin to what one might think a post-apocalyptic Northwest Portland would look like upon exiting the trail after an hour’s struggle to egress out of the jaws of death above us. Very few folks out, and those that were made no bones about questioning our faculties: “you guys are crazy.” Thanks, we know. If we could pry our frozen lips apart and coerce our frozen tongues into making audible sounds, we’d agree with you or at least smile.
We now know how those InBev Clydesdales feel. Crappity!