As I have said…. it is a gamble. Today we win. I’m still flying economy but the hike today resulted in some outstanding skiing. Cirque Peak is the place we are headed. B had skied there a week ago and he said the snow was soft and not yet affected by the warm weather.
The highway is giving us good feedback. It is bare and dry until we are past the Mosquito Creek campsite where we parked yesterday. Beyond, there it is snow packed and ummm…… maybe we are now high enough that it did not get too much above freezing.
There is a car parked at our embarkation point. We pull in behind. Only later did I remember the golden rule, “park in front of any cars already there as they will get hit first”. The temp is cool but not cold as we emerge from our climate control pod. The snow on the side of the road is SNOW, not glazed as we expect and this is at the lowest point of the day.
All the way up things look good. Lunch again on top of the world. Sun is out, wind is light, temp is around freezing and the view is spectacular. Try it sometime and you will understand.
A few more vertical and it is skins off. As the aspect of the slope changes just a few degrees to the south the snow has a crystally crust. When it changes back north there is 6″ of the fluffiest snow you can imagine. We choose our slope carefully and I have a grin ear to ear after the second turn. We are not much above treeline so there is only 25 or so turns on the open slope and then it is into the trees for the 1,500 ft decent to the bottom.
This area has many glades to ski down so it is WAHOO! all the way to the bottom. Wonderful boot top deep snow . The tree poop (maybe known to you as tree bombs) is interesting to ski over. It has hardened and is impossible to turn in so it is straight over the top and turn the next time your skis hit soft snow. Except for a few short stretches, we find good alleys to ski all the way down.
This is why I bypass a hundred ski lifts on the way to walk up for 4 hours and only one run down. I also buy lottery tickets but my rate of return is much greater skiing and so I will continue to pursue white gold.