Some people might call another person crazy when they hike with their slippers on during winter through the backcountry, snow easily up to their knees and across a frozen lake while in slippers. Well, I am that guy. I am also glad to be that guy. You see if I was that person on the other side, I’d be restricting myself of what I can do as a human, and I am not about that life. Yeah it’s risky. Yeah it might be dangerous, but driving your car to the same mountain or anywhere is just as dangerous.
I have attempted reaching Stevens Peak in my slippers before, so I figured I can do it again. This time I was more prepared to reach the peak that borders Montana and Idaho.
It was New Year’s Eve and I wanted to end 2016 with a banger. Per usual, I posted on Facebook and asked everyone if they’d like to join me on an annual slippers hike up to what would hopefully be Stevens Peak. I got a couple likes and things but no responses. Eventually my man Seth—who used to be with us at Mtn Talk—gladly chimed in and said,
“If we do it tomorrow, I’ll go.”
I replied, “Done.”
Seth joined me last year, but with boots. Nothing wrong with boots, just to be clear on that. A few hours later, another guy I worked with piped up and said he knows the area well and would love to join us. He pitched the idea of a new trail. It’s ironic that he mentioned that because I was talking to Taylor about wanting to find new spots the night before. I go to Stevens kind of a lot. Seth and I were down for the new route that led us to Lone Lake, which is on the other side of the ridge from Upper and Lower Stevens Lakes. We all headed out at 5:30 AM and parked at about 6:30 AM at the base of Stevens Trail Head. Thankfully, Ryan actually had some extra snowshoes and trekking poles that he let me borrow. They were quite helpful.
We began our hike after rounding up all of our gear: backpack, HydroFlask, food, camera, snowshoes, and trekking poles. I was like “oh we’re definitely getting the peak today with snow shoes on.” So much confidence. Ryan pretty much guided us on this new trail and said the snow MIGHT be a little avalanche prone but said we should be fine as he checked the forecast and the morning of.
Seth and I were confident in him as he seemed quite knowledgeable. We took a little break before zigzagging our way up. The steep hill was slick even with snowshoes on. I almost slid down on accident a
few times, but managed not to, barely.
I probably would have been fine with sliding because who doesn’t like to glissade?
Once we got towards the base camp, as Ryan called it, slightly before heading up to Lone Lake. Ryan was scoping out some lines to snowboard down. I was so stoked to get some photos of him dropping off a cliff in the backcountry because I have never been around that sport before even though I live around like a thousand areas that have it.
One of these days I’ll be shredding the flakes. Is that a saying? Now it is.
Once we reached the frozen Lone Lake I re-thunk the whole getting to the peak thing. It looked like the god of wind was having a war up there with mother nature. We decided not to hit the peak or the ridge unfortunately. Better luck next time, though. It was totally fine not reaching the peak because I was satisfied with the new trail, new views, and good company. We slid back down in style. Ryan of course snowboarded down. Seth and I kind of snowshoe skiied down. We prepared for Ryan’s line and got into position for photos. We took a few falls tripping on our “clown feet,” did some more snowshoe skiing using the trees and bushes as sliding barriers to stop. Here are a couple of shots from him going off this rock cliff:
What a fun trip! I recommend it to any of you. Here are some directions to get there from Coeur d’Alene so you can go have a backcountry adventure in one of Idaho’s gem spots.
Basically go towards Lookout Pass and take exit 69 near Mullan. Take a left and go across the bridge. Make a right turn and follow that road all the way up. You’ll run into the parking lot up there. “ALL The Way UP!” any one else sing that when ever you hear that? I do, every single time. Anyways, go have fun and let us know how you liked it!