Thursday, January 31, 2013

A little bitta beta

So, first - I acknowledge that I've been a slacker about keeping up with this blog. There, I've said it. Second - just to make up for having been MIA for so long, I'll post up a little beta about current conditions up Lamoille Canyon. And, just to sweeten the deal - here. Photo from skiing today.
The road is plowed only to the Ruby Dome Ranch entrance just below the mouth of the canyon. Trucks with snowmobile trailers and folks with 4WD have been getting up to the first pull-out just inside the canyon and parking there. People have occasionally been pushing it beyond that (and tearing up the snow base in the process), but you can't get far in a vehicle other than a snow machine without getting stuck pretty quickly. There are lots of big ruts on the road where people have put that theory to the test. The official road closure is in the usual place just past Pete's Corner, but you aren't going to get there in a truck for a while. Don't know why they've opted against plowing this year, but it's a PIA.

This is pretty limiting for skiers. The snow down low is... not skiable, and it won't be any time soon. And it's a long, long skin up the road before you get to skiable snow. For those gazillion of you looking to this blog for information on skiing Terminal Cancer Couloir - get yourself a tow strap and befriend a snowmobiler. Otherwise, you'll be skinning up the road for more than four and a half miles before you dive OFF the road to start the TC approach.

The skiing up high is pretty nice right now, although there is a lot of natural slide activity up there. My partner dug a pit yesterday on a north aspect 9600', and the approximately 50cm of wind-affected new snow sheared extremely easily from the prior storm surface. There was another easy shear at a rain crust about 10 cm below that. Below the rain crust to the ground was very granular snow - in all, about 2.5m deep where we were. Probably not a recipe for skiing aggressive lines.

We skied an east aspect line today, a little lower angle, about 100 yards off of the looker's left shoulder of Snow Lake Peak. There's an old non-functional SnoTel device up there (Lamoille #7 from back in the day).

Mike on the up.
Looking at Liberty
Snow Lake Peak
Cody made it, too.
The snow was supportive and quite turnable, and micro-aspect adjustments made a big difference in whether it was punchy or buttery. Sorry, no pics of turning, just plain forgot. We were having too much fun.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Houseguests playing in the snow

A blizzard and a multi-car accident in the Carlin Tunnels left a couple of ladies driving from Salt Lake to Tahoe stranded in Elko... with skis in their cars, plenty of backcountry gear, and a Facebook friend with a house at the base of the Rubies.

As you can imagine, the unanticipated interruption to their road trip meant laughter rang in the canyon.  Thanks, Meghan Kelly, for sharing your adventure with us!

BTW, here's a link to Meghan's blog.  This girl rips!