Tuesday, February 21, 2012

weekend touring

It was a great holiday weekend of ski touring this weekend.  Got out with my touring partner from last winter for a quiet day in Silver Fork.  The first run was a bit crusty, but supportable crust.  Met a handful of other folks up there, but it seems the majority of crowds were in areas further down-canyon.  The second and third runs we got into some pretty soft snow, surprisingly so, and after a good second lap decided to shoot for a third.  The sun made a short appearance through the clouds for the third run, and we were happy that we stayed.

Touring was followed by nachos, beer, pizza, more beer with some out-of-town friends, storytelling... a great day in all.

Day two of touring was an early start:  the alarm went off at 5:25am.  Thankfully, the Cuisinart coffee maker did not disappoint, and after setting the timer for 5:15 the night before, coffee was ready as I stumbled out of bed.  Even had pizza from the night before as my touring lunch (although the temps were so cold, it was frozen in the top of my pack.  Ice crystals.  But still delicious).

The sun was out all day on day 2, upper Grizzly Gulch, and Brendan took lots of photos of neighbor Kate, whom he is making a video about after surviving breast cancer 2 years ago.  She had a great ski season last year post-chemo, until she tore her ACL that is, and had to get reconstructive surgery on that.  So this year is the year to really kick all that into the past.  She is skiing strong.  We were out for 6 hours, and had some rubber-legs by the end of the day.  The sun heated up the slopes as we exited Emma Ridge and we kicked off some good size sluff-avalances.  Super-slow motion slides that were really fun to watch morph down the hill.

There were a lot more people out on day 2, probably because the sun was out too.  It was cold and clear up top, with great views of the slopes I had skied the day before.  Today is gray and dreary in the City of Salt, and no new snow overnight, although I talked with my brother and he said that they have gotten 7 inches in southeastern Idaho, and it's still snowing.  I think I'll spend today stocking up on supplies, and wait for next weekend to get out again.  Might ski one day this week, but the dogs might have my hide if I neglect them like I did this weekend.  They already dismantled my work-bag that I left in the living room out of frustration while I was out touring on day 2.  I can't say that I blame them.  If I were left at home on such a beautiful couple of days, I would have been a little upset too!

Day 1 ~ Silver Fork Meadows
Day 1 ~ great view of Flannigan's Chute.
Persistence pays off ~ finding soft snow in Silver Fork.
Day 2 ~ Superior Sunrise
Day 2 ~ Kate and Brendan on the early-morning approach up Grizzly Gulch.

Sweet rime frost in upper Grizzly.

Girl Power ~ Kate.

After everything that has happened in the last two years, this quote
is even more meaningful, "When you realize how perfect everything is,
you will tilt your head back and laugh at the sky."

Kate and Brendan approach Emma Ridge,
East Bowl of Silver Fork in the hinterground.

Slough avalanche with mid-day heating ~ Emma Ridge.
In Brendan's words ~ Kate schralps down Emma Ridge.

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