In Hope I Byde

Friday, February 22, 2013

Skyline Yurt February 21, 2013

Skyline Yurt February 21, 2013

This is the four annual Team Three Idaho City Yurt Trip.  This year in attendance we had veterans Brad and Clint, as well as newbies Deny and Nick.  Sadly Tim couldn't make it this year.  We gave him a pass as this was the first trip he has missed.

This was our first time headed up to Skyline Yurt. Below you can read some information about the yurt.

The Skyline yurt is conveniently situated off the groomed Skyline trail, a popular loop used by Nordic skiers and snowshoers. The yurt provides easy access to over 20 miles of groomed and 50 miles of marked ski trails. The yurt is located on a high sunny knob, which provides a 200-degree view to the east, south and west. The view from the yurt is one of the best in the Boise National Forest. From the yurt deck you can see Wolf Mountain, Steele Mountain, Sunset Peak, and Pilot Peak. The open, rolling terrain below the yurt provides beginner telemarkers a chance to polish their skills. Snow is usually available early December to mid April.

The Gold Fork Park N' Ski parking lot is 20 miles north of Idaho City on Highway 21, just past highway mile marker 59.

The trails are marked with blue and yellow diamond shapes, called blazes, attached to trees. The recommended approach to the yurt is to take the Summit trail to the first intersection of Skyline/Summit trails intersection, about 0.5 miles from highway, stay to the right on Summit Trail. Follow the blue blazes on Summit Trail for about 1.2 miles to the Skyline//Summit trails’ intersection. Stay left on Skyline trail for about .3 miles. You will come to an open gate. Continue on the Skyline trail until you see the 2-foot yellow diamond shape blaze on a 4x4 post. Stay to the left and follow the 5” yellow blazes on the trees up the hill about 200 yards to the yurt. The yurt sits on the highest point in the area.
You cannot see the yurt from the 2-foot yellow signpost or from the Skyline Trail.

UTM (in NAD 83): Note UTM’s are rounded to nearest 10 meters 
Gold Fork Parking Lot: 11T 0611090 4872620 
Skyline Yurt: 11T 0612810 4872340 

Gold Fork Parking Lot: 5,240 feet 
Skyline Yurt: 5,885 feet

Brad offered to take his truck up for the trip, it was large enough to hold the five of us and plenty of room for the gear.  Unfortunately Brad's truck wouldn't pass emissions...........hence the temp tag photo.

Just outside of Parks and Rec getting our Ski and Tour
parking permit.  Don't forget one if you go up, the fine
is $60.00!  Better to buy the $7.00 pass.

Gear is packed, pulks and all!

Old school country.

Nick's first snowshoe trip.  We were sans snowshoes on the
way up.  Snow was icy and firm, looking back it would
have been easier to were shoes to avoid slipping.

No that is not Cousin Eddy.  Deny and Brad pulling his
2nd attempt at building a pulk.

Clint posing on the Skyline Trail.

Maiden voyage on my first DIY pulk.  Very pleased overall
with how it performed.  I miscalculated the importance
of having a hipbelt to pull it.  For this trip I just used some
quick draws that I had in my climbing gear and so
nylon webbing.  

Brad's pulk.

Even though this looks flat, the trip into the yurt was very
much up hill.  

Once we got to the yurt I took some more detailed 
photos of my pulk.  The schedule 40 PVC piping was 
Doug's idea and it worked like a champ.

I was a little worried about the pipe glue holding under
the weight of the pulk but it held like a champ.
Notice the lack of snow on the yurt deck.
Underneath of the front decking.

Carriage bolts on the inside of the pulk.  I wasn't sure how
the raised surface would work but it didn't seem to cause
any problems with my duffel bag.

Underneath view of the fins, officially callled

Pulling side of the bulk, quick draws attached to the
eye bolts and nylon webbing to attach to puller.
Front view of the pole attachment.  Utilized the pre-drilled
holes for a back-up rope.

Crossing the poles adds a lot of control when pulling,
especially around corners.  I used some shock cord that
I had around the house and then added the velcro for

Another new addition to my gear closet.  Neos overboots.
This particular model is the Navigator 5 mid boot.  Insulated
and waterproof.  I wore my Northface Ultras inside and
hiked in just fine with no snowshoes.

Neos were very warm, in fact so warm that my calf area
sweated way too much.  In the future I will stick with my
Northface Ultras for the hiking and using the overboots
after I get into camp for snow camping.

Skyline Yurt is the only yurt I've been to that has solar power
for inside lights.  There are four led lights hanging from the ceiling
that we put to good use playing cards with.

Candian Hunter in the camo bottle was one of Brad's
contribution.  At $8.00 a bottle it was not the worst whisky
I have drank before, it wasn't good either.

Skyline Yurt is one of the few yurts that allow dogs.

Outside campfire ring and wood pile.

Late afternoon nap.

Night brought a skiff of snow, about 2".

Stoic Windshirt maiden voyage.  Much colder (and downhill
on the way out) with a slight wind and snow but I was comfortable
in just my merino wool t-shirt and new windshirt.

Good photo of my make shift nylon hipbelt.

Brad was over zealous on the way out and headed back the
same way we came in, despite our decision as a group to
complete the loop and head the opposite way.  Deny
and I waited and sent Clint after Brad and Nick to tell
them to turn around.

Clint caught up with Nick but Brad was long gone.  Something
about him not wanting us to wait for him as he coughed
his way down the hill.  

This is my unhappy face as I make the safe decision to follow
after Brad back to the trailhead.  I guess we will have to wait
for another trip to see the rest of the Skyline Trail.

It was necessary due to the snow to wear our snowshoes out.
I was very pleased with how the Neos overboots and MSR
Lightning Snowshoes paired together.  Very comfortable,
even for a full days worth of hiking.  But like I mentioned
earlier it is too warm for above 0° hiking.

As with every Team Three trip we ended at Trudy's before
heading back to the valley.  This year I had a tuna melt and
bowl of some really great clam chowder.  Trudy herself graced
up with her presence.  Trudy sat at out table and we had a
nice conversation about Idaho City, the new addition
of The Springs, and life as a cop.  

Brad testing out his cross country skis.

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