1-21-2011 Gash Point

January 21, 2011 at 21:20 | Posted in Backcountry skiing the Bitterroots | Leave a comment

Skied into Gash Point today after a spectacular approach on the road. Reaching the end of the broken two track, we hopped of the truck to inspect the road  unable to finish the final one hundred feet to the lower trailhead due to the slight rise. We dropped the tire pressure to about 15 lbs and after some careful attempts managed to make the standard turn around spot. Sans chains! The weather was overcast and there was about three inches on an already softer and warming base. We made the skier summit with three shifts in trailbreaking and non stop conversation. The snow was deeper than expected and warmer and wetter. No glopping even at low elevation on the way in when dry. By our return to the truck it was raining below 5500 feet. We skied three laps two in the south bowl and one along the ridge. We made the ridge ski the shit in the ski  sandwich and it proved to be the worst of the day, with variably stiff and slabby snow. There were considerable  wind loaded drifts and new snow to 16-20 inches deep. The snow felt hollow in places and deep and dangerous were it to come unglued. We noticed no signs of instability today, more of a knee twister problem today.  Skiing in the bowl was whiteout and dropping into the elevator shaft at times up top. The lower bowl was pleasant and the rollover in the bottom exciting. With the snow packed in there and filled in to a depth about 6-7 feet deep in places it is really looking great up high, what a winter snowpack. Below 6000 feet and the snowline it is quite thin after a high point about two weeks ago. Hopefully there will be some snowfall after the front passes tonight but typically it drys out after that! Dawn will show. I took some fun video with the Go Pro and posted to You tube.   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oiCl2R3aaz8&feature=player_profilepage

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