Sunday, January 15, 2012

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.

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