Just about everyone in Silverton is eagerly awaiting snow, but none more so than Steve Allen.
Allen, 53, is planning a 23-mile snowshoe trek across the Continental Divide from Silverton to Lake City on Dec. 13.
He says it’s a fundraiser for the youth centers in Silverton and Lake City.
He’s taking pledges from businesses and individuals.
Allen says he realizes what he’s in for. The winter trek can be very hazardous — extremely isolated, high avalanche danger, difficult terrain, and deep snow.
But he points out it was not uncommon for pioneers to make the wintertime journey.
“I did some research on how it was done in the past,” he said.
In this case, he plans to head up Stony Pass, cross into Maggie Gulch, then Minnie Gulch, before dropping down into Cuba Gulch to Cottonwood Creek, to the Sherman town site, then along the shoulder of Redcloud Peak to the Alpine Gulch Trail.
“What I’m doing is cutting a straight line through the mountains, not taking the roads,” Allen said.
“I already ran the course,” Allen said Monday. “I go up once a week at night and do a night run.”
He says he has notified search and rescue officials in San Juan and Hinsdale counties of his plans. He figures he can get to Lake City in 36 hours but the plan is to have search and rescue launch if he doesn’t show up in 48 hours.
He also will be wearing a SPOT personal tracker that will allow his position to be monitored by friends in Silverton and for him to send a message if he is in trouble.
Allen figures the toughest part will be the ascent up Stony, but by the time he gets to Sherman “I’m going to be tired.”
And passing between Redcloud and Sunshine peaks is where he expects to feel truly exhausted. But from there, it’s virtually all downhill into Lake City.
Allen said he’d like to organize a local snowshoe race in the future and perhaps make the Lake City trek an annual pilgrimage.
“Every year I could do something similar to this,” Allen said.
He said those interested in sponsoring him should contact Julie Danjou, youth center coordinator, at 387-5074.
“Kids really do need some direction or something to do, especially in wintertime,” Allen said.