Thursday, February 10, 2011

Me 'N the Beav

I haven't been up Beaver Tail (to ski) for a couple of years, largely because my last trip up there featured crotch-deep breakable crust over sugar (ugh) as well as a misadventure where I ended up standing on top of a waterfall with my edges digging in trying to figure out how to safely exit from where I was standing. We climb that waterfall - called Scout Camp - repeatedly and happily during ice climbing season. I never really figured it to be a favorite ski destination for me.

Anyway, this summer I spent some time up there with friends cleaning out an old trail in an effort to improve access up there. I heard from Mike that it skied well on Monday and figured it was time to see for myself.

Beaver Tail is kind of a west-southwest aspect and so can get pretty cooked. We had about a foot of freshies up top, but lower down it was a couple of inches of new over the hard-as-nails-baked-out-January-hate-garbage... ugh. Skinning up was a real chore in a few places, and I ended up taking off my skis and bootpacking over a couple of particularly ugly spots.

Once up top, though... wow.

So much skiing... so little access. :(

Mt. Gilbert, with Ruby Dome peeking behind a couple of ridgelines.

Self portrait, with my ski partner Cody.

What goes up must come down.

In all honesty, north was the aspect of the day - the shots of north that I enjoyed were absolutely orgasmic, uber-light boot-deep fluff. Unfortunately, today's ski partner didn't have a drivers' license - and never will, so my north aspect shuttle destinations were out of the question. And, (excuses excuses), I really didn't have time for a long tour.

I'm bummed I have to work tomorrow because the skiing is going to be stellar.

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