Monday, January 2, 2017

December 19, 2016, Back Country Skiing Bountiful Ridge

Merry Christmas! Someone decorated a tree at Rudy's Flat.

First real ski tour of the year was better than expected. We had a long, dry, hot autumn. Too many 70's well into late November, and then a week into December we had a series of warm storms that brought rain up high, snowline between 7,000 and 8,000 feet, with snow above. This didn't bode well for Bountiful Ridge as the skiing there is largely between 7,000 and 8,500 feet. But this week we finally got a colder storm that dropped the snowline down to the benches (4.5k feet). Today the conditions were excellent for skiing but challenging for skinning; there was six-inches of 2% powder atop a hard rain crust. The skinning was tough because the powder didn't adhere to the rain crust and because of that I really, REALLLY could've used some crampons, which were sitting at home. I usually don't pull them out until the spring. On the steep side-hills my edges would not stick and my skis kept skating out from under me. Thanks gravity. But the downhill side of the equation was excellent! Those six inches of powder were well worth the skating on the climb. My turns were noisy, my edges often scraping and cutting into the ice layer, but overall the snow was very forgiving and offered fun turning. Not grabby, easy to carve and turn and sometimes a blast of snow to the face.  








The 'Snow Stake' rock. Still pretty thin coverage.

Christmas tree at Rudy's Flat. I'm constantly packing-out other's trash from Rudy's, it seem like when one person leaves their mark it opens the flood-waters to everyone else, but this display actually brought me good tidings and goodwill towards all men . .  and women! Seriously, this was cheery and made me smile. I'll clean them up another day. 

About 24 inches at Rudy's Flat (7.1k ft.). 

Frosty brush at Rudy's Flat. . . 



35 inches in mid-Rectangle Bowl (at 7.8k ft.).

First run ski tracks in Rectangle Bowl.

Looks warm and sunny but it was cold and windy (see blowing snow off trees).

Skin track in lower Rectangle Bowl.
 
Wind!

It was cold! I rarely wear my outer layer while skinning, just to manage the sweat and to keep my jacket dry, but today I needed it. 

First and second run ski tracks. The upper half of the first run was filled in from the wind by the time I got back up. 
 
Today's ski runs were directly down from the high point (Rectangle Peak), but mostly filled in from the wind. Ski track barely visible just left of the big trees

View from Rectangle Ridge towards Crescent Bowl/Peak and Blacks Peak beyond. 


Almost there, Rectangle Peak. My earlier skin track barely visible. 

Rectangle Peak.

Christmas tree at Rudy's Flat.
 
Glad they're back! A yearling moose near Rudy's Flat. I hadn't seen one here since last winter and figured they'd been hunted out. I'm not a hunter so forgive the rant, but it seems there is not an over-population of moose up here, so it irks me that they go for these moose, but whatever.

Snowy trees on Kara's Pot Farm . . .
 . . dead tree in North Canyon.

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