Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Skiing - Bountiful Ridge, December 28, 2015

Jonah and Brett, emerging from the brushy barrier of North Canyon. 

Upper North Canyon, on a slope called 'Kara's Pot Farm.'

Jonah is strong and young, too young to know pain, obviously, that's why he's with me and Brett on the brush-hell approach to Bountiful Ridge. Brett and I are old and wise, but not wise enough to stay away from long, brushy, Gore-Tex-ripping ski tours like Bountiful Ridge, but the powder is great!

32 inches (84 cent.) of snow at Rudy's Flat. The maximum depth seen here in 2014-2015 was 38 inches, and that vanished within days of the Spring Equinox.

At Rudy's Flat, Brett is helping Jonah put on mole skin for his emerging blisters. All I could offer was an extra pair of knee-high nylons. Don't laugh, I swear they save me from blisters every day I ski.
Did I tell you Jonah is young and strong and can't feel pain? Well he is, and he can't. So strong in fact he's hiking in full-on Alpine ski boots (no walk mode = zero flex) with Marker Baron bindings, the heaviest touring bindings known to man (or women). Period. Jonah's rig is made for lift skiing, but with a hike mode for short forays into side-country, like hiking over the pass from Gad 2 at Snowbird to Columbine Bowl, a five minute hike at best, rather than the all-day hiking like we did today. His gear is beefy, made for hucking fifty foot cliffs and pounding bumps. All combined, boots+bindings+skis, each foot weighed roughly 10 pounds. When multiplied by 15,000 steps (we hiked 9 miles today), Jonah lifted 150,000 pounds for the day, and all with his feet!!  My rig on the other hand weighs about 4 pounds per foot, so I lifted a measly 60,000 pounds today. But don't judge, I'm old, I'm bald, I'm an accountant. 
For old men like me, weight, or the lack thereof, makes all the difference. Lightness means speed and less fatigue. It makes a huge difference in the amount of vertical covered, and, therefore, the amount of downhill glisse one can get. Simple math: go light and get more turns.

I successfully converted Jonah to my cross-dressing ways. Knee-high nylons are a skier's, hiker's, runner's best friend. 

Emerging onto Bountiful Ridge on this gray, cold day. 

My rock, placed here years ago, on a Mountain Mahogany at the junction of the summer trail and Bountiful Ridge. 

Jonah and the dead tree, namesake for Dead Tree Peak, Ridge, and Bowl.

Jonah and Brett on B-Ridge, above Dead Tree Peak, heading towards Rectangle Peak. View south-west towards Bountiful. Antelope Island is barely seen in the upper right.

Keep that beacon on Jonah! 

Brett is the more responsible of the two old men on this tour. I was transitioning to ski and he dug a pit to test stability, which was rock solid from what we could tell. Primarily because the old snow, the snow from before the pre-Christmas 36-inch dump, was only about 3 inches deep laying on the ground. In short, the rotten, old snow was bridged by the new snow and there wasn't enough old snow to collapse and act as a glide layer for the new snow. I never saw shooting cracks or heard any collapsing, nor saw signs of any natural slides. We skied two runs and the snow seemed very stable.  

View SW, down City Creek Canyon, towards the Salt Lake Valley and the Oquirhs.

View SW overlooking Rectangle Bowl and Dead Tree Peak and Ridge.

Jonah topping out on Rectangle Peak. View SW.
Same view but zoomed. Oquirh Mountains behind.

...and another.

Transition zone to ski Crescent Bowl. View NE towards Blacks Peak and Burro Mine Peak.

Brett looking for his Tuna Popsicle. My Snickers was rock hard. It was a cold day and I didn't feel my toes for over six hours, and then my toes tingled for the next three days. Presumably damage from a close-call with frostbite. Could be some nerve damage from my tight boots, but I'm sticking with the cold theory because I've never had toe issues with my Dynafit TLT6's. (I'm positive old-age has nothing to do with it.)

The Marker AT bindings must be removed to switch to ski mode, whereas most tech bindings (Dynafit) can be switched with a flick of a ski pole without un-clipping.

Brett skinning for run number 2. Look hard (mid-right) and you can ski our first-run tracks in Crescent Bowl.
Ski tracks in Crescent Bowl.


  1. An amazing day skiing - here is to many more this season. I am still impressed by your Herculean efforts. Your description of your labors did not accurately capture the scale and scope of the work. I will be ever in your debt.

    1. The work was well worth it. I was convinced I'd someday blow a knee or hip fighting that damn stuff, so I went to work. Once started the project evolved into something bigger than initially expected;)

  2. I definitely need to get up there and ski bountiful peak sometime! Cheers, Brad