Lover of volcanoes and national parks, Crater Lake is a magical place. The uniqueness of this national park causes visitors to flock in the summer months on road trips. I decided to tour Crater Lake, on my skis, in the winter to see the snow on the trees and the blues of the lake vibrant as the sun reflected from the snowy Earth’s surface.

After watching the sunrise, we toured around the Visitor Center until the snow softened up. We then skied to Garfield Peak. It was a relatively easy skin up to the peak, where we snacked overlooking Wizard Island and Crater Lake. The only thing that could have made it better was to add in Applegate Peak before Garfield Peak.

New to backcountry skiing, the amount of work it takes to earn a few thousand feet of ski turns may not seem worth it. My mind focuses on technique instead of taking in my surroundings as I try to be as efficient as possible.

I get used to how fast it takes to descend. Nature is my escape, and my new sport means I don’t have as much time to take in the smells, sounds, and scenes around me. I have to get use to the cold air burning my skin as I gain speed down the steep sections. I find joy in the bouncing and rolling sections of the descent and start to enjoy the thrill of dodging branches and obstacles along the way.

Below is a video summarizing the fun that was had, along with the map of the route below.

Map to Garfield Peak

20150215 - Garfield Peak Tracks

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