BALLS DEEP - March 14th, 2015: KM 393.3 - 402.0

(Blue Mountains 16.4 - 25.1)

In hindsight, we should have known things were going to be tough as soon as we pulled in to our meeting spot at the endpoint of the hike (at Blue Mountain 33.3 km mark). The snow banks on the side of the road were about 4 feet high, and there were no tracks leading out to the road from the trail.

Still, the last hike was pretty snowy but for the most part was not terribly difficult, so we all thought it would probably be the same this time. 

After gearing up, we has a quick nip of Maple Whiskey to help keep the cold off before setting out into the snow.

The snow was immediately deep, and difficult to walk though. But, with the whiskey in our bellies we were in good spirits!

After about the first two kilometers we were already getting tired. Jamie attempted to make some makeshift snowshoes.

The "snowshoes" didn't really work, and were quickly abandoned. We pushed on!

In the more wooded areas the snow was less deep and more packed down, so it was much easier to walk over the snow without falling up to thighs. We found a porcupine, which was either dead or just sleeping, right on the path.

At about 4 kms in, we reached a car park and debated quitting for the day and walking back to one of the cars via the road. My left knee was in a lot of pain, and were were all starting to get pretty tired from trudging through the deep snow. Unfortunately, the roads connected to the car park in a very weird way, and it would have been a very long walk to get back to either car. We decide to push on to the next place the trail met a road, and then discuss our options again.

So we pushed on! Taking a break was easy, as you could just plop down pretty much anywhere and be in a comfy seat.

The more open areas were definitely more difficult, as snow drifts would accumulate. Every step was a game of roulette whether or not you would break through the snow.

We found another porcupine along the side of the path. Jamie threw a snowball and saw it stir, so we think it was sleeping.

Reaching the next roadway, we decided to abort the hike and take the connecting Ganarasaka Trail down the escarpment to the closest major road, then head back to the start point. This put our hike at about 3 hours, and 8.7 kms according to my out of date Bruce Trail map, or about 9.3 kms according to Anthony's phone. This also put us right at the 402 km mark for the entire trail!

There were some nice views of the Mad River along the trail.

The hike back to the car was another 6 kms, taking just over an hour.

We stopped by Molly Blooms in Collingwood for a quick drink and bite before heading home.

What a crazy hike!