These dangers were only observed further upon the exit to local roads. Unploughed surfaces and even stronger winds led to whiteout conditions, blurring one's surroundings to a homogenous white haze. The skies were a gorgeous, radiant blue with ample sunshine; these rays of illumination pressed against the snowy surfaces, reflecting light in ways that would obscure the path to an even greater degree.
The idea had surfaced at the discussion of an annual winter hike. Orangecane had undertaken the trail with a crew of her own some time ago, leaving me to ponder its highlights. The park was situated within close proximity of other popular hikes, just north of the Forks of the Credit and the Terra Cotta Conservation Area.
The ascent was sudden and steep. We persevered but was ultimately unable to be successful. Elevation differences and ground features were completely obscured by dusting of snow. Underneath roughly 1 foot of defrauding white matter was a thin layer ice, contributing to the level of danger of the hike.
Not even one fifth of the way up, I admitted defeat. The ground conditions proved anything but safety. I resorted to reinstating Mono Cliffs on the to-go list for warmer weather, when uncertainty surrounding ground conditions are not lethal and risks of ankle fracture and plummeting to one's death have been reduced significantly.
Lo and behold, I found not a spare pair of socks to replace the ones smothered in ice particles - these had been forgotten in another bag. I settled for pressing two hand warmers beside the areas of greatest irritation, fastening them in place by looping a condensation-filled mask about the ankle.
Majority of the trails felt longer than in actuality. The view were peaceful, albeit lacking diversity, while the trek itself was slippery. Loose snow that had not been compacted by the skiers were difficult to navigate due to slope variances and constant slippage beneath the feet.
When I came to embarking on the return trip, my phone had died in cold weather. Panic ensued.
At the very least, I could operate on the in-car GPS, though several restarts allowed the device's functionality to return. Condensation between the phone and charging cable did not favour charging, thus battery level could only be maintained at the 38-40% mark while navigating back to areas of familiarity. Admittedly, it was quite stressful - a learning process yet a stressful one nonetheless. And maybe it was just me, but the snowfall seemed to have infused my belongings with musty odours - a stench prompting immediate washing of the entire getup once back home.