Lytle Creek on Snowshoes
On the Sunday before last Dennis, Patricia and I decided to try a snowshoe/canyoneering mashup by snowshoeing the fresh powder up to Lytle Creek and rapping down. Unfortunately the snowshoe up took us too long and we didn’t quite make it into the creek. It was incredibly beautiful though and well worth the attempt. We’re just waiting for a new load of snow to try again with an earlier start. Anyhow, the snow was deep enough at 3500 feet to make the 4 wheel drive necessary, which was an adventure in itself, but we made it into the parking area just fine. We suited up and headed up the trail. The snow got deeper and less wet as we gained altitude, but walking through the sunny forests it felt as though it was raining with the snow melt. The trail was a little hard to follow at times and we got off track at one point and had to bushwhack over a ridge and drop down through heavy snow and plants until we regained the trail. This was one of the reasons we didn’t make it up in time. On the north facing slopes at altitude the snow was a deep fresh powder, and this made the steep trail near the drop in point a real slog. By the time we topped out on the steep portion it was just about turnaround time. We stopped for a nice lunch and recovery on the trail overlooking the canyon and headed back down. It was certainly a lot easier going down on the trail we had already tracked and we made it to the car just as the sun was dropping behind the mountains. Another wonderful day in the San Gabriels.