A snow story–but what is it?

Taking a quick break from The Project, I walked up the mountain a little way. As I was returning, I noticed these converging (or diverging) tracks on the other side of a little valley:


The set on the right consists of a series of lined-up holes. They made me think of hand- and toeholds cut in a rock canyon wall. The set on the left is continuous. The trails join just below a rock (I didn't climb down to take a closer look, for many reasons, including disturbing the snow—the slope was steep, so disturbance would have been major). The lined-up holes start at the dirt road above the rock.

I did walk around the switchback road and look from the other side. This is all about 50 yards (45m) from the cabin where I'm staying to work.


Seen from the other side, the discontinuous trail is on the left and the smooth, continuous one is on the right.

I leaned over to get a photo of some of the tracks just below the road. They were deep enough that I couldn't tell what sort of pawprint might be at the bottom.


Back to the wool.


1 thought on “A snow story–but what is it?”

  1. I’ve been asked for an indication of scale, which is only obvious to those of us who are familiar with this landscape (and, especially, its grasses and small bushes).

    The holes and the sinuous trail are both about 4 to 6 inches (10 to 15cm) across. The deepest parts of the holes in the third photo are about 3 inches (7.5cm) across, and those holes themselves are maybe 8 inches (20cm) deep–long-legged something, for as close together as the holes are, with minimal disturbance of the surface snow between those upper tracks.

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