Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Bountiful Ridge, Backcountry Skiing, April 21, 2013.

Mud and snow, but that doesn't stop seasonally-confused bikers. Don't they know it's still ski season? Even the best bike (or rider) can't handle snow and mud with much aplomb - but you have fun cleaning that grit from your $500 calipers! I'd suggest the $100, disposable 'Huffy', until it's dry.

Finally some green after a long, cold winter (to quote my wife), but for me I wish the skiing would last a little longer.

'North Canyon' overlook, which was about as far as any bikers have made it thus far (tire tracks lower middle). They  have certainly tried, but didn't get much beyond here as the snow is almost continuous to Rudy's Flat, about a mile further up the trail.

View NE, towards Rudy's Flat (just beyond the low pass), from the North Canyon overlook. 

Rudy's Flat and the snow is going fast. Between 1 to 2 feet remaining. A month ago the snow was over four feet deep  and the scrub was covered. 

The namesake of "Dead Tree" Peak, Bowl and Ridge - great ski runs off Bountiful Ridge. I have about a thousand photos of this thing, dating back to the mid-seventies - and none of them any good. My Dad has three or  four photos of this old snag, all in black and white, and all much more provocative than my thousand. He had a great eye behind the lens. The first time I saw this thing I was six or seven, chasing behind my Dad and five older brothers, in 1968 or so.

As for the tree,  I'm surprised some nut hasn't yet cut it down, or set it afire. (I shouldn't plant any ideas.)

Like I said, when I was a little kid my Dad would hike me up there with my brothers several times each summer (no skiing until the mid-seventies) and they didn't hold back just because I was six. I had to run to keep up or else I'd get left behind (and lost). They got away from me once, and I started to cry thinking I'd never get home, but they found me on their descent.  The ridicule I received for crying was worse than being lost. I learned to move fast and I never got left behind again. 

View North from "Dead Tree Peak".  Rectangle Ridge is the shadowed line, mid-right. Rectangle Peak is on the right edge of photo. I skied from this point to get home for church. It rained in the valley and snowed up here all day yesterday (per the Utah Avalanche Center forecast, but all I found was punchy, crusted, semi-supportable snow, making for challenging turns. Not the creamy, day-old powder I was hoping for. 
Transitioning to ski Dead Tree Ridge. Rectangle Peak, my most frequented ski destination along Bountiful Ridge, is the sunny peak visible just left of my knees.   

Looking back towards Bountiful Ridge, Rudy's Flat just out of view around the scrubby knob. Sad to see winter end. 

1 comment:

  1. Winter is never over, but you might have to travel a bit... Here is to another great year, despite the less than stellar snow fall. Come August we should ski Elliot Glacier on Mt. Hood.