2018-02-04 to 2018-02-06 | Snowpig Classic 2018 | Strawberry flats, Kananaskis |
This year’s location was scouted in the fall and Peter and David also went to the effort of stashing some wood on another fall visit (due to the relative scarcity of suitable firewood in reasonable proximity to the river) and the site was perfect. About a 5 km snowshoe in with heavy packs, close to running water at the Highwood, and a good middle day snowshoe up the meadow. Some recent fresh snow, and more on day/night one, added to the Snowpiggyness of the setting.
True to our process of late, we shared efforts on the first night’s entrée – Peter prepared 20 oz Sirloin steaks, par cooked and seasoned in foil packs that we finished in the fire. With our own sides (variations of potatoes and veg) we ate like kings night one. Of course, we have little treats to share throughout the weekend like Peter’s mom’s cherry loaf, Jell-O, chocolate, pistachio brittle (a holdover from my fall trip), rum, schnapps and hot chocolate (which, I learned, is called a Polar Bear), tea, nuts, salami, dried fruit, etc etc. A well- timed gift of some of my sister’s caramel was also well received. Everything tastes better in the backcountry somehow.
This was David’s first Snowpig and he got the full gamut of weather from overcast coldish snowy first day, to sunny calm middle day, to a rather cold second night (clear skies). His enthusiasm un-diminished by the inevitable cold feet, he embraced the spirit of Snowpig most admirably. As if there were any doubt! Cheers to Peter (the founder of the feast) as well.
As much as I like the first evening around the fire, the second is probably my favorite. All the work has been done and we can eat and sip and socialize – only briefly touching on our pain points, we primarily share funny stories or things we had recently enjoyed or things we are looking forward to. We are often visited by a mouse, this year it was Roderick, although he came late for a bite of cherry loaf and was generally not as social as his cousins a few valleys over. Night two usually features a darkness snowshoe - just enough to enjoy the stars and get the blood flowing (meal settled). Its hard to leave the fireside but good once underway!
Snowpig is a much-anticipated winter ritual, and although my hands still ache a little a day later, totally worth it to drop off the map for a couple days.
© Clayton Ditzler