I woke up at 5 a.m. and realized the snow cave entrance had finally filled in completely.
I had been waking up every few hours to watch the gap between the top of the entrance and the ground dwindling until the air space was completely gone. Dragging myself out of my -5⁰F sleeping bag, I prodded my co-leader Chris Robertson awake, grunted that I would dig us out and check on the trip participants, Derek Oldham and Camron Abbott, who were sleeping in a snow cave nearby.
The wind was bitterly cold as I unearthed the others’ entrance to find them alive and well, but unaware they had been buried under almost a foot of new snow.
“Next time sleep with a shovel,” I laughed. One of the many lessons quickly learned when snow camping.
Travelling to Crater Lake was my culminating trip in a four-part progressive snow skills series offered through Cascades Adventures. The plan was to learn about snowshoeing, snow camping skills and the area’s natural history, but Saturday’s weather gave us something else to think about.
Snow camping may not be easy, but it is definitely worth the adventure and personal sense of achievement.