I’ve been working on some big projects and I’m carrying a serious sleep deficit. Today it finally caught up to me. My lungs seemed half-sized; it felt like an elephant was standing on my chest. About 3 miles up the mountain I mention this to Brett and he asks, “Just where do you keep your phone?” With a laugh he says, “When your heart goes, there’s not much I can do for you other than call 911.” I wasn’t having a heart attack; I was just exhausted and needed a long nap.
I didn’t get to bed last night until after 2AM. I tried to sleep late, but by 7am I was wide awake, so I texted Brett to get down here, and started packing for the day. A mile up North Canyon I was dragging, and not because of the wet, thin snow cover - and mud! (This is February?) Seeing a bare tree well at Rudy’s Flat I just wanted to sit and sleep. I seriously thought about sitting on that dry ground, back-to-trunk, and take a nap. The five or so inches of new snow at Rudy’s was dense, with wet sloppy layers below, making for about 43 inches total coverage. As we climbed, the new snow quickly became less dense, not exactly blower, but conditions were getting better. At the top of Rectangle Peak the wind was raging and I was freezing, so we quickly found some shelter in the lee of a cornice building in the wind. We opted to ski Crescent Bowl, which is a protected NW facing drainage, sheltered from the wind by parallel ridglets, the northern ridge forming a half-moon against the straight line of the southern ridge, hence the name ‘Crescent Bowl’. The snow was awesome, light powder down the gut of the drainage, but we were forced to skier’s right by the brush exposed through the thin coverage, and the more rightward we skied, the more morning-sun-crusted snow was found. That, plus we were crossing the line into yesterday’s rain/snow line. In short, conditions were variable: light, powdery snow up high on northern aspect, wet and heavy lower and southerly. That said, it was all fun skiing, courtesy of today’s fat, surfy skis.
I had no energy for multiple runs. Plus the second wave of the storm was upon us, so we bailed after one run. As we descended the wind dropped and big, fluffy fakes were falling in classis winter fashions, so we were encouraged for future ski days, but, sadly, those fluffy flakes quickly turned wet, then, a bit lower, to a nasty rain. Just one of those days. I never went into Cardiac arrest. Wish I could say the same for winter.
|Skiing up Rectangle Bowl, B-Town below.|
|The wind was raging as we neared Bountiful Ridge and Rectangle Peak. Brett here doing his best 'Flying Nun' impersonation. For all you young bucks, do a search to see what that even means.|
|Brett, almost on the ridge.|
|Brett coming across Rectangle Peak. I was searching for protection from the raging wind when I took this shot, then quickly dropped off the cornice to my back and instantly felt 20 degrees warmer in a safe harbor from the wind.|
|Me skiing out. Kara knitted that hat; I always feel her strength with her handy work protecting my bald|
|The descent, at Mid North Canyon. Last winter was pathetic in terms of snow, yet this time last year this bridge crossing was kind of dicey given the six-foot high drop-off on either side into the pond. |
This year is pathetic X's 2!
|More of the mountain bike trail emerging from winter hibernation; North Canyon, 1/4 mile a up the single track.|
|Too warm for February! It is raining during our descent down North Canyon. This is where the snow turns to rain at about 6,200 feet.|
|Next week the snow will be gone and I'll be booting out.|
|Double track in North Canyon. During our ascent we skinned over that spot, now muddy. Real hard-men of the back-country would've skinned back across that mud.|