Friday, April 18, 2014

mid winter to spring (i.e. still winter)

April 12-13

Obligatory Classic Crack to start the climbing season and searching for corn (found it) at Lolo Pass.

and East face Sky Pilot

April 5-6

Camas with Jon and Larissa.

March 29, 30

Moonlight with Adrienne, Robbie, Don, Erica, Denny and Krog

Bridger With Adri

Nose to South Bowl, Oh's to Snake Line, Cuckoo's,

March 22, 23

Koch Peak with Matt and Jon

Fishing with Adri and Marshal

March 15, 16

Arrastra and Loose Moose with Adri and Denny

Monday, March 10, 2014

March-Week 2

Saturday March 8 - new zone, exploration, High and low

So me days remind me just how incredible it all is. Breakfast and Coffee at 5. Load up the sled and leave the house at 515. Park and start walking at 645. Sunlight hits the trees at 704. Drop into the next basin at 710. Blown away by sunrise at 712. Find imminently fresh wolf tracks at 719. Follow them until they double back and make me wonder who is following who... time unknown... Gain ridge-line looking down into incredible steep ski terrain at 745

The search for anything resembling solo ski terrain, puts me atop a 1000 ft tree run. Entrance somewhere around 40 degrees, mellows within 30-40 feet to 35 degrees of perfect burn trees. Tether to stout tree with 8mm cord and drop down to dig a pit - 8 am.  Reasonable results and 8 inches of great powder. Climb back up and tie in to the end of the tether just short enough to keep me out of the trees if I guess wrong on the stability.  One giant 12 ft jump turn onto the most likely trigger point. Nothing. Untie and leave the tether. 830 AM

Blissful and conservative skiing for a thousand feet of cold sun drenched perfection!

Skin track out is easy and I pass many committing lines. 920 am skins are off and I am looking down my next line - the most conservative I can find.

This one would be a bit faster than the last. It feels good to look down something steep and fast again. No way to go slow here. The top would slough fast and I know it.  I feel confident but  it has been been awhile, and that's what I think as I slide the first 10 feet. Nerves. Then i flipped a switch as the slope rolls over 50 degrees. Total focus. Seven turns and 600 ft later I am hollaring uncontrollably.

Skin Back to the top to retrieve the tether from the first run 1020. Ski back towards the sled 600 ft mellow burn trees in great powder down. 500 ft up, 600 more down of the same awesome burn trees.

Home to Sun and 60 degree at 1230. Whats next? Fishing.


Sunday - Rain up  pretty high. Chilled to the bone and nothing that could be called skiing. Saw something resembling falling snow at 6600 ft then it turned back to rain. Least motivation ever. Considerable wet slide danger between us and good skiing. Turned around. Least successful day skiing in past 10 years.

March Week 1 - In like a... Grumble

Saturday March 1

Backyard with Jess, Travis and Jamie

High in the low teens today. A crust was immediately apparent under a few inches of new snow on the short approach. A few clues put us on the north east aspect where we found consistent fast and really fun skiing. Four runs totaled around 4000 feet of great skiing.


Back again. What a difference a day makes... not in a good way. The forecast called for a high of 27 at 6400 ft. Hmmm... felt more like 45. We ventured to the back of the small drainage and topped out at 7800 ft. The top 1200 feet of skiing were great bouncy powder in fun low angle burn trees. The remaining wallow down to the skin track was sticky mashed potato crap. Usually I'm not so negative after 1200 ft of great skiing but I managed to completely shear off the walk mode toggle on my left ski by catching a stout stick under the snow. The binding is now limited to ski mode and I am limited to only moderate enthusiasm for the next run which was good for only about 300 ft. The remaining 700 ft were characterized by snow glopping to my ski pole baskets so heavily that each pole plant landed behind boot center. Grumble grumble grumble. 3100 feet Grumble.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Old Friend

Fri Feb 21

Luke comes to town and Adri still sick.

Indecision. High avy danger continues and SnowBowl sounds pretty good. Luke and I get to talking and just like old days, a late night results. Ok not that late.


Indecision remains in the morning. I'm feeling like Snowbowl is a long ways away. Today, laziness payed off in a big way. I took a look at the map and found a gem of a spot in our extended backyard. Three runs of perfect powder, endless burn trees, one of the best double pillow drops of my life and almost no approach. Four thousand vertical. Oh yeah, Luke is a rippin' skier.

Sunday, snowing at Snowbowl. Descended just under 30,000 vertical feet today and every run was better than the previous!


Sunday Feb 16

Meet up with Andrew for our second day skiing together and somewhat of a rebutle for a moderate day up at Gash earlier this season. We skied three perfect tree runs at just under a thousand feet vertical in terrific (albeit a bit dense) powder. Also mixed in an exploratory run a little further north that was a little under fifteen hundred and relatively low angle. The powder turns seemed endless. We had a great day characterized by powder and a skin track that blew in every run making for tired legs.

Monday (Presidents day holiday)

Met up with Jon, Blake, and Jess for a late start day in the front country. I knew I would be slowing this group down and expected it but was embarrassingly vocal about my struggling pace. Lets just say I mentioned a few excuses. Regardless, a terrific day! Seven thousand feet and some change, perfect burn trees and great powder. The wind was blowing, snow snowing and stoke high. I would have loved to ski another run but it seemed that my legs were toast. We returned to the car with plenty of daylight left. Car to car in about six hours.

February Continues

Sat Feb 8

Jamie and Jeremy came for the week. On the drive up to Whitefish, the Missions were clear and inspiring. Fireworks for commence at our arrival and burst low in the cold around us. Sunday was clear at the top of Big Mountain. We were lucky to have views of Canada and the park. Jamie is an impressive skier and was so strong all day! Jeremy had a skills day and learned really quickly.

Monday a trace of new snow had fallen overnight and skied much better than it sounds. After warm up runs we were off to the steep and bumpy back diamonds. Towards the end of a long day we ran into Matt and his brother and teemed up for some steep tight trees and extremely good snow. Jamie had no fear in the steepest double blacks of the trip.

Tuesday tired legs all around didn't stop us from skiing the four new inches of powder! Jamie loved the steeps in connie's coulee and Adri just rips. Terrific three days on the mountain with my family. Back to Hamilton in the evening.

Wednesday raining in the valley, snowin' in the mountains! Rest day.

Thursday Lost Trail was all Powder! Not the hero snow we all think of, but more delicate and difficult to ski. It was heavy on top and light underneath. This combination worked Jamie and Jeremy in the morning. After lunch we found that the wind had whipped up a cocktail of creamy goodness and kept pouring rounds every lift ride. Jamie couldn't get enough of outlaw. A steep rollover double black. Jamie worked on linking turns in the steep bumps. She's got it! What a day!

Friday, enough is enough. Legs worked from yesterday's challange we decided to change it up a bit. We toured the "backyard" on snowshoes and snowmobile. Jamie and Jeremy each accompanied me on  powderful and thrilling side by side rides up forests roads that were narrow and steep. It seemed like there should be some good skiing around somewhere... We all celebrated with dinner at the Plonk with Jamie's good friends L.C and Joel. It was good to meet Joel, who was inteligent and had inspireing words. The company and conversations were memorable all around. A memorable day!

Saturday was terrific. We headed up to Missoula again to see Jamie and Jeremy off, but not before having some fun... Jeremy was really impressive in his first day at the bouldering gym. He got the concept and completed routes impressively. Then to the Brewery for local brews and darts.

It was so good to have Jamie and Jeremy around. I hope they consider a more permanent recreational forecast.

Monday, February 3, 2014

February 1st & Second too...

... None


Matt, Matt and Ben

8000 vertical today.


Adrienne charged today. "Missoula start", 3300 ft. Met Eric and Dan who informed me of some serious anti blog sentiment in the rut.

Since I am nearly positive less people read this than I have seen skiing any where other than Gash Point. Not too worried.

Monday, January 27, 2014

January Week 4


Path: 13.44 miles long; 9146 ft gained; 9157 ft lost.


Fishin with Adri in town was fun though not very productive. We had never fished in town and the water was pretty good. We'll be back often for some post work sessions come summer!