Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Cold bluebird day in the Rubies

I've taken a few weeks off from updating this blog, but now am back at the computer. I was pretty fed up with having to share snow with way too many snowmobiles, and didn't bother to take pictures of my ski days. And then, of course, I spent a month in Patagonia. My life surely doesn't suck.

Some Patagonia stoke:

But I digress.

Since I'm still not all that interested in competing with motorized yo-yos for snow, I've started thinking in terms of other places to go for my skiing fun. Leaving the sleds behind means long approaches and, in some cases, the need to bring a tent along. Fortunately for me, there are reasonable options if I'm willing to put some uphill time into it.

Today's tour - case in point: three hours up for some absolutely stellar skiing.

I was a little concerned when I got back from Patagonia that the huge January melt-out would have ruined the skiing. I had a couple of reports, though, that that wasn't the case. A couple of days of light snow on top of the warmed-up stuff could have led to some pretty sketch conditions. As it turned out, it was rocking good - well worth the uphill, the cold, and the thin, bitter wind.

Up again with Mike - who is very patient. I'm slow anyway, and a month of hiking at 1000' doesn't help much when your usual playground is at 10K.

This is Mike's photo of the day's destination. Note the spindrift - not a great day to be up on the ridge.

Beautiful beyond belief up there.

After we got through a ridiculous sagebrush traverse that I ended up bootpacking, Mike put in a very sweet uptrack. He got quite a bit ahead of me while I was fighting with the traverse. Of course, he gets quite a bit ahead of me most days.

Still smiling at the top, though. Hell, who WOULDN'T smile on a day like this?

And down. And down, and down, and down...

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