Hi all! my first first post so I will apologize for any mistakes now!
I was planning a Sipsey trip on jan.17 but forecast was rain so I bumped it up to Fri morning the 14th..my 12 year old daughter demanded to be included in a trip my other hiking friends scoffed at ! So we left in the wee hours of fri. morning and arrived at Thompson Creek Trailhead at 0900..didn't think the Jetta would make it but did,,the further east we drove the deeper the snow !! We broke trail on 206 and headed up Whiteoak creek to the "Big Tree Shortcut" to trail 205 on top in 5 to 8 inches of snow..it was beautiful!!..My plan was to follow the old 205 trail towards Shiprock and come down either before or After the Shiprock ridge,,due to my awesome land nav skills we missed it by 1 ridge and we came to a cliff/waterfall,,we crossed 4 more ridge/cliff/waterfalls only to come to one that we thought we could climb down..After a inspection climb and a pack toss [my ULA CAMINO is tough!] we arrived at the confluence of Bee Branch and trail 206 ..Woot what a bushwhack! It was almost as the trees had chosen to fall on the trail instead of the woods!! Blowdown fever! I would hate to try that during the summer!
My daughter then insisted she wanted to camp by the Shiprock Formation so we high-tailed it towards shiprock arriving about an hour before dark! What a trooper , never a complaint and only a little heckling at my map skills[learning from Mom]..We set up my Clark NA with BA Encampment with IAC pad. We had previously agreed to double up [read mistake lol] because the bag was a tall with plenty of room..After the hot bottle trick and padding sides with clothing n jackets we accomplished a cross legged semi flat banana lay!
Besides the undue comfort We were warm. The only problem was condensation,,wow,, I had the head end vented but woke about 0400 and opened it more to a backlit full moon above and I swear I saw steam go out and SNOW fell back on my face
We had a quick breakdown in the morning with a hot choclate and pepperoni n white cheddar breakfast and beat feet to the Thompson Creek Trailhead,,met a couple of guys getting ready to make the Big Tree Loop and actually got the Jetta out of there ! It was overall successful bushwhack/geartest trip ! we can't wait to get back to Sweet Sipsey Soon!!