Hiking Sawteeth: First Winter High Peak

Happy Christmas Eve! I took yesterday and today off from work to enjoy the holidays. I got all of my shopping done on Saturday and had Sunday to relax and hang out with Chris before he left for PA. So, Monday I had free to get in some WINTER HIKING. Yes, you read that right!

Jona and I were originally planning on hiking on Saturday, but the weather up north wasn’t that great so we postponed until Monday. Jona decided on Sawteeth. The trailhead is located at the same place where I hiked last time with Christine, at the AMR.


But this time we had a bit further to walk down the road to get to the Sawteeth trailhead. It was still a bit dark when we started out, since we wanted to get in as early as possible so we were back at a somewhat decent time.



I invested in some winter gear for hiking this winter, like microspikes and snowshoes, which I brought along. It turns out we only needed our spikes so my snowshoes stayed on my pack the whole hike.




Little beaver we saw on our way in, he was chomping on his stick and was so cute!


Once we hit the trail for Sawteeth we crossed the river and then saw Rainbow Falls.




Now, for the hard part. The climb to Sawteeth wasn’t too bad at first, but the higher we got, the steeper the trail was, which was also covered in ice and slushy snow. I started developing blisters on my heels back on the road in, stopped to re-cover them with moleskin and then blister pads (neither worked), and had raw heels on the way up–but ignored it. Every awkward step was painful on my heels…but continued on!


The way up was hard. At times I really felt like quitting and was this close to telling Jona to go to the summit and that I’d wait for her…but I don’t give up that easily. The key to getting up some of those climbs was just taking my time and evaluating my steps, with help from Jona. Thank goodness for her hiking experience!

Finally–we reached the top.



The summit was in and out of clouds that were moving fast–it was an awesome sight.





We didn’t linger on top for long (we were the only ones on the trail all day), so we adjusted our boots and went back down, and I was pretty afraid of going down (my least favorite part of hiking is going down). But it turns out that going down in the snow was much easier than going up! AND MORE FUN.




A stream crossing is always interesting.


Before I knew it we were back at the bridge almost to the road.




My feet were not happy with this hike, which is weird because when I hiked 14 miles in the same boots last time they were fine.

So glad to be done by the end! Man, that hike was tough. I don’t know how I did it.


~13 mi RT
4100′ elevation
2975′ ascent
High Peak Rank: 35

6 out of 46 done!

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    1. Thanks! It was fun but–I was really nervous about going. So much that I almost called it off at 4AM when I was about to leave to pick up Jona! I had read some scary things about winter hiking and I was worried about it–but I’m glad I didn’t because even though it was HARD, it was worth it, and fun. I just made sure to be prepared in case something did happen.

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