Sunday, January 15, 2012

Rudy's Flat, January 14, 2012

Hiked to Rudy's Flat today with Kara. A beautiful, sunny day with beautiful company. The only thing lacking was skiable snow! The Mountain Mahogany still rule the slopes!!

Route: from the end of the pavement, up North Canyon to the Mueller Park-North Canyon Trail, then up the switchbacks to Rudy's Flat. Conditions were icy in lower canyon, due to melt/freeze cycles and way too many 4x4''s (bring back the gate!), to soft-pack snow at Rudy's.   

Elevation at TR - 5,550 feet.
Elevation at Rudy's Flat - 7,130 feet.
Elevation Gain -  1,580 feet.
Total Distance - 7.27 miles.
One-way distance to Rudy's Flat - 3.65 miles.
Distance from end of pavement to end of double track - 1.27 miles.
Distance from start of single track to Rudy's Flat - 2.38 miles.
Total snow on ground at Rudy's Flat - 12-14 inches.
Total snow on ground at Rudy's Flat January 2011 - 52 inches.
Where's Art Fisher when you need him?

Beauty and the bald-headed freak!

Cougar? Cat's stalk from behind, right? I walked in front from this point. Such a man!

BC Skiing, Silver Fork, January 13, 2012

From Solitude ski resort, I skinned up Silver Fork to ski the SF-Meadows, typically prime, Wasatch powder country. I picked the Solitude approach due to the rapidly disappearing snow on the southern aspect out of Alta. Even so, with the non-existent snow pack of '11-'12, today's outing was a mixture of sagebrush, where I normally set - or follow - a skin track, to steep icy skinning, to fun, re-crystallized powder.  To be honest, it was some of the worst skinning of my life: the track was way too steep (SLC skiers!) and bullet proof ice due to sun and over-use. My skins struggled to find purchase, with multiple ACL-wrenching-backward-slips (and my skins are in great shape!) so I ended up setting a new skin track to the side. The snow was either sun-crusted sugar, or no-crust-rock-based sugar. As I was climbing the reality grew stronger that I'd have to ski this crap to get back out. Needless to say, I wasn't too excited about the descent and kept telling myself I'd just boot down if the skiing was miserable. Hey, my skis might be old, but I still have a heart (my 'A-kit' at home gathering dust).  Once on the Days/Silver divide I pushed south toward Alta and found a more northerly aspect, as opposed to the sun-crusted easterlies and, surprisingly, the snow was good (dumb luck or aspect?) which salvaged the day. I hit one huge rock on the exit run.

What skin track?

The deer hunter forgot his seat (but what a view of Prince of Wales mine!) . . .   
. . . and his survival cache, found another 200 yards along the ridge. At first I thought it was the WPBG privy. I tried opening with my ski pole - to avoid germs - but impatience and curiosity got the best of me, used my gloved hand.  

Meh, they're old . . .

View NW.
Looking down my ski run, only the upper tenth is visible.
Across the way, Solitude's Honeycomb lift is the cut in the trees, upper-mid-left.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Lunch Run, Mt. Van Cott, January 12, 2012

A quickie. Short, with moderate hills, to get the heart pumping when watching the clock.

Route: from the Williams Building loading dock, north on the Bonneville Shoreline trail to the SW ridge- N Butt of Mt. Van Cott. Follow ridgletts to the summit. Return via Water Tank trail (S face).

Start Elevation 4,970 feet
Summit Elevation 6,340 feet
Elevation Gain 1,370 feet
Distance up 1.47 miles
Distacne down 1.51 miles
Time up 24 minutes
Time down 13 mintues

Mt. Van Cott, just above Univ. of Utah Hospital. Where is the snow? Yes, this was taken on 1-12-12.
Mt. Wire, yesterday's run.
Smoggy SLC from Mt. Van Cott. Below is my employer (extreme left, mid-height), Rice-Eccles Stadium (sight of 2002 Winter Olympics, mediocre Pac12 football, a great U2 concert last May, and a terrible Rolling Stones concert 12 years ago.
Central Wasatch from Van Cott.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Lunch Run, Mt. Wire, January 11, 2012

 Mt. Wire from 2nd false summit (1/8 mi. to go). 

 Microwave boards 1/8 mi. down-ridge from Mt. Wire.
Grandview peak, with the 9K-ft Burro Mine ridge to the left, with very little snow.

 Looking down Georges Hollow from 2nd false summit. SLC below.
The old air-traffic-beacon-tower on  the summit. When my parents were in school, living  in the old stadium village (where Rice-Eccles Stadium now sits), my Mom would see those flashing lights from her window at night as she took care of my screaming older brothers. (the altimeter reading is 45 feet high - glad I'm not flying an F-16 with this thing.)

I’m going on 50 but my mind is stuck in third grade. I never got past noon-time recess. Getting away from the desk to run the trails, for an hour or so (emphasis on ‘or so’), still works wonders for the body, mind and soul. Plus I'm lucky enough to work at the edge of the Wasatch – quite literally at the edge, where the City ends and the mountains begin. Hmmm, eat a burger with the boss and talk shop, or go trail running in January??

Start at the loading dock at the Williams Building (NW of the new Utah Museum of Natural History);
- Run .5 mile south on the Bonneville Shore Line Trail to Georges Hollow (drainage due east of Huntsman Chemical);
- Run (1st gear) 1.5 miles up the 'Hollow';
- Run (4wd–low) .6 mile up the ridge (south), over two false summits, to the top of Mt. Wire.
- Reverse the route back to work. Don’t listen to your Ortho; running downhill is good for your knees, my 49.8 year-old knees are proof, and it’s the best ski conditioning on earth.  

With very little snow the trail is still runnable as it has been since last April when the record snows of '10-'11 melted away. A year ago there was 3 feet of snow at the summit, now there is just 6-10 inches, and only on the northern aspects.

Stats: 5.2 miles RT from work; 2,160 feet of elevation gain; high point 7,143 feet; low 4,970 feet. Ran 98% (icy on first false summit).

Time: up 43 minutes; down 24 minutes.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

BC Skiing, Grizzley-Wolverine-Patsy 12-23-11

Still skiing on my old Arc Angels due to the thin snowpack. A good thing given the down-climb of a rock-band in Wolverine, with skis on, gave the Angels a bad stone grind.

BC Skiing, Mt. Superior/Cardiac Bowl 12-9-11

Going against the mission statement, as Superior and Cardiac are suburbs of Alta and Snowbird, but in a challenging snow year you go with the snow. Two-inch, hard, punchy crust over 24 inches of sugar. Plenty of rocks on the way back to Lady of Snows (wish she'd do her job this year).