Saturday, March 2, 2013

BC Skiing - Crescent Bowl, Bountiful Ridge 03-01-2013

Crescent Bowl. It was a hot day skiing, I drank the 2 quarts of water I had and still needed more. Winter never lasts long enough! During the skin up, the snow was wet and heavy but on the northern aspects it was still fun turning. As the sun set and temps dropped, the snow re-crystalized into creamy powder. The descent into North Canyon, in the dark, was a mix of breakable crust and icey wheel ruts. Who drives that canyon anyway?

Rudy's Flat, 42 inches of snow (that's the top of my ski pole). As far as I could tell no one has been there since my ski day a week ago, yet in the middle of Rudy's Flat I see these odd parallel tracks, with NO footprints leading too or from them. Closer inspection shows they are the touch-and-go landings (four touches) of a helicopter, with roller-balls from the rotor wash. Almost every time I ski up there a small helicopter flies low over Rudy's Flat then down City Creek Canyon.  A training route?  

City Creek Canyon from Rectangle Peak.

Brett, transitioning to ski Crescent Bowl (just north of Rectangle Peak).

Antelope Island, Stansbury Island and Pilot Peak (Nevada) on the horizon. 

Terminus of ski run in lower Cescent Bowl.

Heading back up for run #2. Wet snow on the skin track (west aspect).

Crossing the Rectangle (my favorite run off Bountiful Ridge). We skied Crescent Bowl, on the north-west aspect, due to the wet-heavy-crusted conditions on the Rectangle, which is on a westerly aspect.

Steep "Wasatch" skin track. All those years and I still haven't learned to set a low-angle. 

The first run was under cloudy "green-house" skies, but, while skinning up for run #2, the clouds started giving way to blue sky.

Ready for run #2.
Second run turns in lower Crescent Bowl.

Tracks from our first run in the alpenglow of the setting sun. 

Racing the sun for run #3.

We raced the sun, trying to catch the final sunset rays to video while skiing the re-crystallized snow on the Rectangle, but missed it by about five minutes. So we finished the ascent at a leisurely pace to the top of Rectangle Peak. We then skied run #3, just below (N) of the Rectangle Ridge, just inside Crescent Bowl, and found superb recrystallized powder. It was the last good snow of the day as the descent down North Canyon was rough: crusty, icy and brushy.


  1. Excellent day. Thanks for putting the video together, I know it is a bit of work on your part. The wide angle of the lens is good and bad. There were times I felt I was going to run into you, but it never looked that way in the video. At any rate, the sunset, the snow, it was all good. Even the flailing on the way out over the death crust had merit. One person I used to climb with used the phrase "gumby filter." Many places to ski in the backcountry are protected by a gumby filter. Advances in equipment have opened powder skiing to just about everyone, that is why resorts can be skied out in an hour on a powder day, but a lot of BC locations have a gumby filter...

    One other comment on the ski out. I saw Owen snow plowing over the death crust and through the Oak brush. I tough, "no way, I can ski this." So yeah, a few seconds later I was next to Owen, on my face with skies pointing in two different directions...

  2. Yeah, just when I thought I had a major break-through on the descent route, the snow is frozen making the brush seem like Maine or Vermont. In soft snow you can link nice turns through that stuff (seriously). I'm a marginal skier so snow-plow turns are instinctual. In a tight spot it just comes out without any thought. But only real men have the confidence to snowplow on fatty powder boards.