In case you were worried the tradition of Sunday Services on Mailbox ended in 2012, fear not! We continued with a couple of trips in January. The first wasn't that exciting, so no bundle of photos, but this trip... well... ADVENTURE!
Let's start with the fact that it was blowing and brutal out in the open. Sideways blowing snow coated half our faces and all our gear. My gear was largely WTA testing gear and it performed pretty well, though the boots were a bit soft-soled for my tastes. I like a stiffer sole for kicking steps and support on rough trails. Still, they kept me dry and the jacket breathed like a champ.
So far, not much adventure. We've had plenty of lousy weather on Mailbox. It's probably part of the penance for calling it "Sunday Services."
On the way down, right at DR, we decided to explore a little ridge that's usually too brushy, but covered with snow would be a quick shortcut.
Hey, look, there's the route for the trail that's still under construction. That's supposed to rejoin our normal route so let's follow it. Heck, it looks in good enough shape to figure it'll be ready far before next September.
Along the way we realized it wasn't coming back to our normal descent route that quickly. Oh, well, it's still pretty fast traveling. Well, it was, until we got to the point where the trail being build from the top down hadn't quite gotten to the trail being built from the bottom up.
And the traverse across the boulder field that was hidden by the deep snow so we couldn't see the flags. And the cliffs. And the deep snow. And the need to be down early so Eric could get home for to chaperone a trip to see the Hobbit. Oh, to be back at DR... but we were too far down the mountain for that now.
We did, of course, find the trail on the other side of the boulder field after thinking about it for a while. It was right where it should have been and where we should have realized it was if only we'd been thinking more clearly.
Sadly, much of the lower section of the trail wasn't as close to being finished as the upper section appeared to be. (Of course, the upper section probably only appeared to be near completion thanks to the deep snow covering.) We made it back to our usual descent route and then high tailed it down from there.
All in all, a good experience. The new trail will be uber long, but pretty cool with cliffs and huge trees that I didn't realize were on Mailbox. I think I'll wait until it's officially done before I head back.