Tuesday, February 21, 2012

BC Skiing, Mill D North, Powder Park, February 17, 2012

Kind of a black and white day. Good skiing on the NE aspects, sun crusts on the SW. I've been spoiled by skiing the lonely slopes of Davis County the last few years. Few are willing to brave the long approaches and trashy accesses (brush), so I’m use to calling the shots: setting the skin track and skiing virgin slopes totally alone. In my world there are no other tracks, to the point that I’ve become a territorial snob. Some things are just not allowed, but we’ll get to that . . .

With the challenging snow year we’ve had, tougher on the lower elevations of my usual haunts, I've had to ski the Central Wasatch (LCC, BCC, MC) more this year than I typically do. I’ve skied Powder Park plenty, but it’s still a shock to see a skin track ten-feet wide and solid enough that the ‘Bubba’ up the street could drive his Hummer to Dog Lake. No chains required. Yes, I’m a skin track snob.

But I digress, bad cliches aside, a day skinning and skiing is always better than work. Better yet when the wife joins you. Don’t think so? You need a new wife! (Or a new job.) Powder Park is intermediate skiing, at best, but a good place for relaxed cruising and easy ascents. Not the most exciting skiing, but we all need a down day here or there.

View south, towards Cardiff Fork.

Desolation meadows, Powder Park hidden on the lee of the bald knob.

Still not a lot of snow at 8,300 feet. Sign should be 6-feet under this time of year.

Kara is a much better athlete than 'Moi'. For all the work I put in to my fitness, daily lunch runs and all, she seems unfazed on the climbs even with weeks between workouts. She’s a career nurse and just doesn’t have the time for daily workouts. Neither do I really, but I’m a sworn underachiever and my career path shows it, for every day at noon I go trail running. Rain or shine, promotions be damned, I go run. Don't get me wrong, I do work long hours, but no one notices that you're at the PC, slaving at 8pm, when they've all blitzed at five. What they 'DO' notice is that you're not going to lunch with the "team".  Oh well, I come back from my runs happy and energized. A proven formula, sans chugging a gallon of Diet Coke in the afternoon. Anyway, if Kara could run each day, she’d be competative with the Spaniards, and they’re not Grandmas!

So we ski laps in Powder Park, but after a couple of hours I can tell she’s limping in her ski boots. When pressed she finally admits that her bad foot, a surgically repaired foot, is killing her. So we cut it short and ski down the ‘Hummer Run’, back down Mill D North, back to the truck at the Spruces. We find out later she has a severe stress fracture. I feel kind of bad for pushing so hard. 

Soapbox:  What’s up with SLC skiers urinating in center of the skin track? I counted seven pee holes, bulls-eye center. And don't make assumptions, this was not canine pee. Dogs have more class and at least look for a tree. Can you get Chlamydia from frozen urine? I'm not taking chances - skins are currently at the dry-cleaners. The price you pay for following the herd.
Funny side-bar: about 20 years ago we had a family reunion at a nearby campground and my young son was harshly reprimanded by his Aunt for "spitting" on the ground in the SLC watershed. Good thing she doesn't ski. If she only knew . . .


  1. So, did you rob a museum? That Pieps Kara is wearing is from the 80's...

    Here is another thing about skin tracks. Yesterday we took time to lay in a nice skin track, not too steep, makes for a nice tour. So today this knuck dragger snowboarder on snowshoes walks up the skin track with is dog. Hey snowboarders did ya know you can convert your board, or a chap one, to a split board, you can buy compact light weight approach skis, or you can buy a split board. Snowshoes are lame, stay out of the skin track.

    1. That old Pieps is nothing - you should see my ski pants: wool, WWII army surplus, 1970's granola.

      Powder Park never slides anyway, pushing angles of 22+ at best. To put things in perspective, I skied with a guy last week who was totally bragging on his new tranceiver - the latest Barryvox "hip-computer" (ringing in at nearly $500). At the TR when I asked for a "sound-check" he didn't know how to switch it to "search". Maybe simplicity is a safety factor?