Slipping and Sliding (but mainly slipping) down Bonanza Mine

Bonanza Mine

On Thursday, Tori Latiolais, Alex Robin, Sarah Vining, Sarah Cruth, Breanne Hernandez, Kay Manuel and I set out for the 9-mile hike to Bonanza Mine located on the Bonanza Peak at the Kennecott Mines National Historic Landmark. This hike definitely challenged my endurance, as virtually the entire trail was at a steep incline. Fortunately for us, the weather was absolutely perfect with the temperature around 70 degrees and clear skies, and after about 5 hours, we made it to Bonanza Mine!

We made it! HOM at Bonanza Mine

Alex playing in the snow

Once we had soaked in the beauty of the Mine and the beautiful glacier backdrop, it was soon time to brave the 4.5 miles back down the peak. This was the part I was most dreading – steep ascents mean difficult descents. My knees and ankles were already screaming when a brilliant idea came to me. We had noticed many snow patches along the trail (even stopping a couple of times to play in it!). Why not just ride one down to sidestep descending the steepest part of the mountain? I have to admit, at first, I thought my idea was laughable, but then again, I saw a guy earlier run down the mountain via snow patch. I thought to myself when would I ever be back in Alaska and decided to go for it. Plus, it looked like a whole lot of fun.

The experience proved not to be disappointing…

Tori, Alex, Sarah Vining, and I all decided that it would be worthwhile. Tori got a roaring and unexpected start when she slipped and pummeled down on her stomach. She surprisingly did not hurt herself during the plummet (no, that would happen later on the trail when she faced off with a rock). We had an incredible time slipping and sliding, and we laughed the entire way down. It proved to be an efficient and fun way to descend the mountain. I’m so happy we did it!

--Kristen Hunter

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I remember that day. GwH