We didn't make it up for the Winter Fest, but we headed up on Monday instead. There wasn't a variety of interesting presentations, but the trails were mostly empty, and considering our lack of skill on skis, that was probably a better day to be there anyway.
Our first stop was, of course the west gate, to get our permit and then we did a very short loop directly from there. Chris was a little disappointed...I think he wanted to do longer trails, but always forgets to take into account the kids slower pace...and my much lower fitness level.
After the short ski, we headed to Mew Lake Campground and found an empty site to heat up lunch. I'm not entirely sure it's allowed, but since none of the roads to picnic areas have been cleared, and we didn't want to sit in the parking lot of a trail head, we didn't have much choice.
I'd made a pot of bean soup and a few loaves of crusty bread the day before, and we took the Vital Grill Stove with us to try out. The kids had fun collecting twigs, and I was surprised at how easy it was to light as well as how quickly it brought a big pot of soup to a boil.
After lunch, we decided to ski to the waterfalls via the Track and Tower Trail leaving from the garbage area at Mew. Only Chris, Squatch and I skied, while the others walked. In hindsight, I wish I'd walked as well because having to stop, take off ski poles and then mitts in order to take a picture meant everyone behind me had to stop as well, and I didn't take any pictures while on the trail.
We spent a while at the falls, and I realized we'd been to this spot four times, and each time it had been very different. The first time had been last April, when Chris and I went during our Yurt trip. There had been lots of water going over the rocks that day, and no snow.
The second time, only Squatch and I went all the way to the falls...and there were tons of people laying about in the little pools. It was about mid-summer.
The next time was late August, and though there were a few people around, there weren't as many as the previous time, and there wasn't as much water either. This time, there was lots of water, lots of snow, and we were the only people there.