Friday, January 9, 2009

Crater Lake-Snowshoe/Backpack

We had determined the moon-coming full that evening-but you can't plan the weather! It was absolutely perfect when Travis and I set out from Rim Village to snowshoe along the SW rim of Crater Lake.

Rim Drive, which encircles the rim of Crater Lake for 33 miles was our guide for the trek. With 6+feet of snow on the ground, the "road" was not always terribly apparent.

I stopped for a bit to pose with the lake in the background. Wizard Island is just behind me.

So, Crater Lake. Wrong name. Crater Lake is actually a caldera, not a crater. A caldera is when a volcano collapses unto itself as with 12,000 foot high Mt. Mazama thousands of years ago. The collapse created a caldera that filled with water and is now the deepest lake in the U.S. at some 1,996 feet. The rim generally now sits around 7,200 feet.

A crater is what is caused when a volcano builds upon itself as with Wizard Island and then leaves a depression in its peak. The flat top is a crater about 90 feet wide if I remember correctly.


We snowshoed across rolling knolls. The beautiful morning gave way to more folks coming out as evidenced by the nordic tracks adjacent to our snowshoe trail. It's always good trail etiquette to shoe adjacent to nordic tracks and not on them as it breaks up the smooth glide for the skiers.


The breathtaking scenery included the frozen hemlocks everywhere we looked. Travis was amazed at the tenacity of these trees. They gather inches of snow and ice on their branches-holding up tons of weight. Some wilt to the ground under the pressure, while others seem unaffected by the burden.


After a few short hours we stopped and began to look for a camp spot. We found a gorgeous spot just off the rim so as to be sheltered from its wind. We settled in just to the right of the trees in the left center of the photo.
A great thing about traveling with Travis is that he is an ultralight backpacking nut. Crazy with the stuff. Our shelter, seen to the right is not Dupont getting into tents. That's Travis' shelter! He skillfully took the superlight Tyvek house wrap product used in construction, sewed on some loops for guy lines & there's the shelter! We buried the far end of the shelter in snow to keep the wind and cold. We remained surprisingly comfortable all night!

The sun just beamed beautifully on the crystalized snow.

The wind blew with a bone chilling sound. Take a listen and you'll be there...

The sunset over our campsite.The moon light over our camp was so incredible.

The trees looked like a Dr. Suess book.
Photos never do it justice, they just joggle my memory of how spectacular the moment was.

We shoed out the next morning. Crater Lake National Park-a phenomenal experience anytime of year. I can't wait to take my boys here.


  1. Gorgeous photos - you took them?? Who knew! Nice blog. You should be followng mine, by the way...

  2. Great photos! I hope to get to Crater Lake someday!