It’s the day we head out on a long trip. The tour starts with skiing, no uphill trek. The turns are on wind sifted snow and not the sun soaked stuff that was on the same slope yesterday. The run is great, 40 or 50 turns on a slope that is ideal for the amount of snow. We all look like heroes. Debbie descends like she has been in the backcountry for years. There are 6 sets of beautiful round turns.
The start is good. We hit the drainage and skin up. The terrain around the uptrack is gentle and it looks like we can make it down without incident. The track is set by a guest that spends a lot of time at Sol, gentle and easy to follow.
The scenery is amazing. It is totally different than when we hike in the summer. The snow is deep and smooth, it quiets all the visual noise of the undergrowth experienced when while walking the trails 6 months opposite.
It is a long walk, Debbie is exhausted by the time we reach the top. Food is at the top of the list. It is windy, we find a cluster of trees (crumholtz) to hide behind, dig in and start on lunch. Fuel is a good thing and we regen.
On the way up I had eyed a slope that we are going to ski down. We had committed to hiking up a certain distance so we make it to the top of the drainage I spotted. It is ideal, north facing and the perfect pitch. B, Debbie and I all have fresh tracks. It is a good test for a backcountry beginner, the tracks left by Debbie are even and round. It is also good for those of us who have been here before. The snow smooth and even, the skiing outstanding.
After the long walk up, Debbie doesn’t have enough to hike up again, so we start our long ski down to the drainage. It is rough going, technical for a beginner and exhaustion is setting into our beginner skier. We reach the bottom, skin up and head up the same slope we had skied down hours earlier. After we hike up through the cut block (forested section) Debbie rests in the trees while I take a couple of runs down the cut block.
Last zig zag hike up through the trees and we are back at the lodge. We have been out for 6 hours and our legs are talking to us. We stow our gear, shower quickly and plunk ourselves down on the sofa with 2 Cokes. A good day.