Sunday, February 17, 2013

More explorations

Recently, when it's been a while between storms, we've been looking for alternative ski terrain to the usual spots we've frequented over the years.  I'm pleased to report that yesterday's explorations turned up some amazing options that will mean some tasty turns in the months and years ahead.

Check this out:  can you say Corn Snow Extravaganza?

Secret Valley with the Rubies in the background.

It was OK skiing this weekend, but with some freshies this is going to be stellar.  Kind of a long ways in... and endless options once you get there.

Friday, February 15, 2013

The difference between pros and rank amateurs

I got an e-mail a couple of days ago from a gentleman who had found the blog and who had done a Monday ski trip up Terminal Cancer. As it turns out, two of the members of that party have posted up fantastic on-line accounts of their trip, including an excellent professional write-up on their analysis process for determining whether the trip was a go/no go due to avalanche conditions. I sincerely hope that those who visit this blog looking for TC information follow this link. It could save your life.

And - speaking of pros - one of their group was a professional photographer who took some magnificent photos of their tour. I think I do an OK job with my little pointy-shooty camera. This guy, though - wow. What an eye.

Craig Wolfrom's blog

Here: Just to encourage you to click the link... there are lots more photos where these came from.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Powdah day!

A nice fat winter storm parked itself over my house this weekend, and left us a whole slew of freshies to enjoy. I was forced to be responsible on Saturday, but on Sunday set out to see what the storm had left us with Mike and his 13-year-old daughter. We headed up to Ambrosia, only to find our friend Kevin had beat us there and laid in a nice uptrack.
Conditions were fluffy enough to make a girl giggle. Zoe couldn't believe how sweet the skiing was.
She was tearing it up. Really fun to see.
Of course, she has a good teacher.
A whole SLEW of skiers showed up about the time we started up for our last lap - just about every local skier in town. We *almost* outnumbered the snowmobiles - way cool.
What a great way to celebrate Ruby powder!

Friday, February 8, 2013


Random photos from some random skiing this week:

Mike scopes out lines in the Independence Range.  We skied down into this bowl and ended up bootpacking out. It was a bit aerobic and we decided to call it "CrossFit Bowl". Don't know that the name will catch on but it works for us.

Went looking for new (to me) terrain on Friday. Conditions were pretty marginal - need more snow. This has to be the most craptastic uptrack I've yet "enjoyed" in the Rubies, although that was almost completely due to the conditions. With better snow this'd be a better up. And a better down.

Going to have to come back and check this out during corn season.

Nice view of Ruby Valley from the ridge.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Independence Day

We took a trip up to the Independence Range near Tuscarora on Friday, in search of new (to me) terrain that would offer good skiing and no competition from snowmobiles. Mike and John had been up there a couple of weeks ago and had spotted a drainage that looked to offer some really nice yo-yo skiing. So, we loaded up the sleds, headed up the snowy road and started skinning when we got a snowmobile stuck.  It would wait, the skiing wouldn't.

John on the up track.

Mike topped out and scouting new lines.

The surface hoar made for beautiful skiing this trip, but likely for some sketchy conditions down the road.

Mike drops in.

A few sweet turns.


As it turned out, there was a minimally-covered rock band all the way across the face, pretty much negating any thoughts of yo-yo skiing or even a return trip to this particular spot.  Bummer, because it really seemed to have a lot of potential to become a new favorite destination.

Even with the disappointment, the meadow skipping on the way out was fantastic, and contained a couple of adventurous creek crossings.

Beautiful day, beautiful spot, gorgeous snow, good friends, and a stop at the Taylor Creek bar on the way out - where we got to spend some time with a gal who grew up with me in Lamoille, and who I don't see nearly often enough.  All in all, an awesome day - even with the rock band.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Slowly, slowly

I'm very pleased to report that the Feb. 1 USDA Snow Course report shows that we're at 79% of average at the Lamoille #5 snow course site (at road's end in Lamoille Canyon).

Here, see for yourself:

February, 2013 report

We're starting to catch up.

As they say in Nepal, slowly slowly.