The hills of China Ridge are a virtual winter wonderland right now, as Vermilion Forks Field Naturalists can verify! Fourteen of us, members and guests alike, delighted in a three hour snowshoe outing on Saturday, Jan. 16th, that initially took us uphill from the longhouse for 1 ½ hours. We journeyed through the woods where the trees were laden with snow, and ever higher to a viewpoint, where we looked far south across the Similkameen Valley. John Henry and Mary Masiel led this field trip, and conditions were perfect: the day was calm, temperatures just below freezing, snow soft and slightly packed, just over 2 feet deep at the lookout. Conveniently, there is a picnic table and fire pit close by, and John quickly started a vigorous fire, which effectively kept us warm as we ate our lunches and enjoyed the opportunity to relax. Glimmers of sunshine tantalized us on our return trip, which took us to an east-facing viewpoint, where the old T-bar once operated, and we were able to view Hedley’s Mascot mine. We felt as though we were part of a picturesque Christmas card as we trooped through the snowy forest, feeling the sun shine upon us fully when we returned to our vehicles, exhilarated once again by our fresh air fix!