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Old 12-21-2014, 08:01 PM   #1
Hear the Footsteps
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Pillsbury 12-21-14

I thought about this trip last winter. It's a long trip. Like Allen distance. Not as much elevation and no river crossings. If you were ever thinking of winter fire towers this and Vanderwacker are the two main obstacles. Not that I am thinking of it but if I ever climb Vanderwacker in winter then there I no doubt that I'll have to finish.

So when hiking buddy Claudia asked if I might be interested in a hike Sunday and after I said yes. What have you in mind? And the answer was how about Pillsbury? I said yes, why not.

So we arrive at Perkins Clearing Road before daylight only to find a sign "Trail Closed." Reason 'for use by logging vehicles.' It looked pretty icy anyway and we'd brought skis.

Next we checked out Jessup River Road (It could be considered the far end of Perkins Clearing Road). It's a snowmobile trail and it was snowy and groomed so we decide to go from there.

After a short climb there was a lot of nice gliding and steeps (for x-country) and though it was fun I began to think about "what goes down must come up." On the way to Perkins Clearing we arrived at the logging road section and made a wrong turn and walked an extra mile. I'd brought the GPS and it sure was a good decision. After a course correction we decide to stash the skis and walk because the road was icy and had lots of dirt. Bad move. Because on arriving at Perkins Clearing we found the Old Military Road skiable.

Fast forward to the parking area and register for Pillsbury. The trail didn't have real deep snow, 12-14". But what it did have was sub crust. Step and break through for me most of the way. It was not a problem for Claudia since she gets good flotation much of the time. Took about 2 hours to summit. With our side trip a little over 10 miles. We found a tower coated with rime ice. I stopped two levels from the top since the peaks were socked in. Claudia went to the top platform.

The descent was very nice with soft snow. Very forgiving.

That left the long walk/ski out. If we'd had continued to carry skis we would have had an awesome first glide. We began to see steady snowmobile traffic on the groomed road and then picked up our skies, had some nice glides, but a lot of climbing to do to get back to the road. It wasn't too steep but there was a lot. It took us 5 hours to summit and 4 hours to return. 19.35 miles by my GPS.

Don

Last edited by Hear the Footsteps; 12-21-2014 at 09:34 PM..
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Old 12-22-2014, 07:14 AM   #2
stripperguy
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Whew!! That is a long day, man...
You didn't mention it, but were you the only ones to go in there? I wouldn't think too many (or any) folks had tracked anything up ahead of you.
Which gets me to thinking, does anyone go into Cedar Lakes in the winter?

And hey, where's the photos??
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Old 12-22-2014, 08:48 AM   #3
Justin
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Originally Posted by stripperguy View Post
...Which gets me to thinking, does anyone go into Cedar Lakes in the winter?
I remember reading an entry from February in the Pillsbury Lake lean-to log book a few years ago written by a gentleman ski touring through the region.
Man I'd love to see that area during the heart of winter!
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Old 12-22-2014, 06:33 PM   #4
Hear the Footsteps
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stripperguy View Post
Whew!! That is a long day, man...
You didn't mention it, but were you the only ones to go in there? I wouldn't think too many (or any) folks had tracked anything up ahead off you.
Which gets me to thinking, does anyone go into Cedar Lakes in the winter?

And hey, where's the photos??
It was just the two of us for the trip. The last entries in the register were by two campers and a ranger on patrol. All three were on or about December 5.
Not many pictures taken. It was kind of a blah day and no quality views.

Don
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Old 01-20-2015, 03:41 PM   #5
trent
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Wow, that's an intense day!
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