I really wanted to get out and skin & ski some today, but didn’t want to do the drive to Alta again. From my bedroom window, I can see a smallish north-facing ridge that runs off of Bountiful Peak. I’ve looked up at that ridge so many times in the last two weeks. It has to be one of the only places that holds significant snow. Time to go check it out!
After I woke up a bit late, stopped at Smith’s for some moleskin to cover my blister from Monday (Dang boots. Any solutions to prevent blistering on my heels anyone? Kieth?) and fussing around with chains for our “truck” (read: mini-van complete with kid car seats) it wasn’t exactly early any more. I made it to the parking area at around 6:00. It was obvious I wasn’t going to make it far that morning on skis, and further, there wasn’t much snow, so I decided to run up to that ridge instead for some reconnaissance for the future.
Running in the dark with the wind blowing through the trees is a little eerie at first, but then it starts to sound like music after a while. The constant rhythm of shoes touching ground, the breathing, the wind through the trees—I like it. I had my ipod but couldn’t bring myself to turn it on. I don’t get to hear nothing very often and sometimes it is rather nice. No mountain lion sighting either, so that is nice.
I followed the Bountiful Peak road up to Farmington Lake, then bushwhacked up to the top of the ridge.
Looking down from the top of the bushwack.
Then I ate some snow. I didn’t bring any water. On the descent, I had first tracks almost the whole way down. Totals: 8.5 miles 2,500 vertical gain & loss. A little different than what I planned to do, but it turned out nice anyways. I really hope we get some more snow soon. Sounds like we will this weekend
Not much snow there!
Paul Bunyan's golf balls in alpenglow.
It looks like the valley is in its first inversion of the winter and the air looks so dirty from up high.
Redneck shooting target. In a no parking zone no less.
Initially, I decided to wait until we got a little more coverage to take the skis out. Well, we got a little bit more (7”?) on Saturday, so I decided to go up to Alta this morning and check it out. The crux of any early ski morning is putting foot to floor when the alarm goes off. Usually this is easier to do when you are meeting someone, but today was a solo trip – no takers yet. Then the stoke starts to take hold and the rest of the morning is really fun. I was skinning by 5:45. The road winds a lot more than just going straight up, but as I’m not super familiar with the area, and knowing that the snowpack is still meager, I took the road. Is that the long way to Catherine’s area? It seemed like I gained hardly any elevation on the meandering road until I was looking up at my run.
After getting to the ridgeline, it was clear that when I was in church yesterday, it was game on up on the mountain. Alot had been tracked out already on Greely, High Rustler, etc. It was fairly tracked out where I went, but I was able to spoon some other tracks and ski some pretty good snow. Not bad for mid-November. All that hiking and only had time for one run. Arrg. I was back at work in K-ville by 9 though, so there wasn’t a ton of time this morning.
3 seconds before turning on rocks with a little bit of snow.
. It felt great to get out and stretch the legs a bit. BTW, my new Dynafits are awesome on the uptrack! Garmont MegaRide/Dynafit combo is apparently way nicer for locomotion than Naxo/Nordica Beast combo I had last winter. Who would have guessed?
From the bottom of “So Long” it was tenuous at best to get back to the trail. With all the rocks and stumps I was skiing over, I decided I wanted to end the morning in one piece so I took the road back down to base. There really isn’t much snow up there. Apparently, they are opening this Friday, but I’m sure it will be limited to a few runs.
In other news, one of our adventurous little girls got the first stitches in the family. We had 4 people restraining a two-year-old. She was not a happy camper. My Bro. sewed her up good though. Thanks Steve!
The 5 x 1 walking formation. Don't mind me ladies, I'm just pulling into my driveway.
“Light. Space. Light and space without time, I think, for this is a country with only the slightest traces of human history. In the doctrine of the geologists with their scheme of ages, eons and epochs all is flux, as Heraclitus taught, but from the mortally human point of view the landscape of the Colorado is like a section of eternity—timeless." -Edward Abbey
My phone pics don't do it justice. What a way to spend a birthday--cruising around the desert looking at this scenery. Good friends, good scenery, good everything.