Monday, January 2, 2017

December 27, 2016, Back Country Skiing, Bountiful Ridge

I park at the end of the pavement because I've seen too many bad-ass 4X4's stuck in the snow. Plus my tires are bald. About five years ago a truck was stuck up North Canyon most of the winter, and over the course of that winter the truck owner had left a huge mess of pallets, carpet remnants and cut trees trying to un-stick the thing. The dirt road is barely over a mile long so I'm puzzled why hikers/skiers/bikers/runners need drive that short road. Walking it adds to the day. Plus I usually boot (skis on pack) all the way up North Canyon to the single track just to avoid fouling my skins with human and dog shit/urine. Seriously, don't eat any snow along the jeep road unless you've been vaccinated for the HPV. Today we found clean conditions not far from the end of the pavement so we started skinning early.   

What a difference a week makes!  Last week was really good, but today was a five-year-best powder day: knee deep blower and not a hint of that bullet-proof rain crust. And Jonah and Brett made it 10-times better. I ski alone a lot because of my busy schedule (often spontaneous outing when I have an opening), so when I can get friends to join me it always makes the day much better. 

Today we skied Crescent Bowl, Crescent (proper) and Rectangle Bowl. All were great! All offering GoPro-lens-buggering face shots, and with NO worries of my daily core-shot which seemed to become the norm the last few years. It was cold and windy and the top 100 feet off the ridges had stiff wind-drifts to blast through, but it was one of those days that reinforces why I'm a boy of winter. 

Wind! Blowing snow off the trees didn't make it any warmer.

103 centimeters (40.5 inches) at Rudy's Flat. Last week (12/19/16) at this spot there was 24 inches. The Christmas Day storm of 2016 was one of the biggest storms of the last decade.

138 centimeters (54 inches) in lower Rectangle Bowl, which had 35 inches a week ago (12/19/16).

Jonah and Brett skinning, just coming around the toe of Dead Tree ridge and entering Rectangle Bowl.

Almost at the top of Rectangle Peak.

Cracking and cornice dropping along upper Rectangle Ridge . . .

Jonah and Brett topping Rectangle Peak.

Jonah having a personal dilemma: should I go to work or ditch and keep skiing POW? Brett kept telling him that he'll always have work, but powder is a fickle mistress.  

Ski runs on upper Crescent.

I think my thermometer is jacked, it felt sub-zero all day. Windchill is real!

Lichen pictograph . . . 

I've seen this broken branch hanging from the live branch for over thirty years, and named the adjacent ski run "Wishbone" for obvious reasons. 

View SW from Rectangle Ridge, over the Salt Lake Valley towards the Oquirh Mountains.

A short  clip, while trying to drop a small cornice. 

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