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My friend Matt and I spent Sunday snowmobiling and snowshoeing around Bonney Meadows. We had been hoping to go climbing over the weekend, but the weather did not cooperate, so we chose snowmobiling instead. We set off early, arriving at Frog Lake SnoPark around 7:30 AM. We were the first in the SnoPark besides a few overnight vehicles. Our plan was to snowmobile about 18 miles to Bonney Meadows and then snowshoe about half a mile up to Echo Point. Bonney Meadows is on the Southeast side of Mt. Hood about 1.5 miles NW of Boulder Lake.
The weather started off in the low 20's with light snow, but slowly warmed up with a few sun breaks later in the afternoon. There was about 6 inches of new snow, and the riding was fantastic. We headed down FSR 2610 from Frog Lake, then hit FSR 43, then FSR 48, then FSR 4890, then FSR 4891, before taking spur road 120 to Bonney Meadows. The road had been groomed up to FSR 4890 a couple weeks back, so it was pretty smooth riding. The fun began as we climbed up FSR 4890 and 4891. The snow quickly became deeper and I eventually found myself stuck in a large snowdrift. Matt and I quickly dug my snowmobile out and then continued up the road. I managed to get stuck one more time as I was breaking trail to Bonney Meadows.
We were the first to Bonney Meadows since the last snow, so we got to enjoy untouched powder for a few minutes before a couple waves of other snowmobilers arrived with the same idea. We played around for awhile before parking the sleds and putting on snowshoes.
The only thing not completely buried by snow at Bonney Meadows campground was the outhouse, but that will likely be buried soon too.
We quickly snowshoed about 0.3 miles Southeast to Echo Point which overlooks Boulder Lake. We could see sunny Eastern Oregon from the point. There was no one else around.
We enjoyed lunch and were visited by a Grey Jay and then a lone snowmobiler skilled enough to navigate up to Echo Point through all the trees.
We carried up some climbing gear, so we could practice setting up a z-pulley system (used for crevasse rescue). It's always smart to be ready for anything when climbing. I also tested out a new pair of mountaineering boots, the La Sportiva Batura EVO, which were quite comfortable.
We snowshoed back down to Bonney Meadows and played on the snowmobiles for a few minutes more before riding back to Frog Lake SnoPark. On the way back it had cleared up enough to get a view of Mt Jefferson and Mt Hood. We made it back to the truck around 5 PM as the sun was going down and the temperature dropping. It was a great day with the weather cooperating more than we anticipated.