1-9-2011 Inspired Again!

January 9, 2011 at 23:47 | Posted in Skiing at Downing Mountain Lodge | Leave a comment

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This weekend ran the gamut of snow conditions from heavy settling, wet mank on friday at East Boulder Peak to cold, dry, primo powder in Bass Creek on Sunday. Saturday was better than friday from other reports. With the major melt down and then snow fall we had stabilizing conditions at Boulder and then quite stable fresh on top today at Bass. The East Boulder tour is always interesting and this day a group of us including Don, James, Ted and Colin and I played it safe and skied the blue icefall bowl off East Boulder Peak. With a long run clocking in over 4200 vertical it is an inspiring descent that starts in the alpine at 9400′, runs through larch and open timber, rolls over the basin’s  features and gullies, and finishes creekside after a gullet run down through the willow thicket. With heavy trailbreaking and skin glopping it was good to have a team of trail breakers and we all shared the load. Looking in on the superlative north facing runs from the summit towards Boulder Falls is always inspiring even if you do not ski these major Bitterroot fall lines. We were content with the one run as there would be no seconds in those conditions. We experienced the meltdown in its fullest form with heavy dripping in the forest such that we got soaked on the initial climb. We took a break at Boulder point enjoying the tight accommodations there and then continued on to the East summit where we were treated to some small bits of sunshine.

Today was a different story and hard for the brain to comprehend. Brian, Howard, Colin and I left Bass creek trailhead at 7a.m and it was 20 degrees the warmest it would be all day. Skiing beyond the lake to the north Bass Peak summit took 5+ hours and then we enjoyed a Bitterroot classic bowl bounce back towards Bass Creek. The snow was exquisite with only some crusts under almost an average foot of fresh. We skied the east face and then two subsequent north faces with the terrain gradually becoming more exciting and committing as we finished the day at 420p.m. creekside after a fairly impressive 8600′ vertical. Back at the car by 6pm for a good 11+ hour tour…getting ready for the big ones coming up soon! Working the GoPro camera has been fun and a bit challenging. Shooting some video while skiing has been really great for sharing and I will try to upload another to the Youtube page.

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