Sunday, March 09, 2008

Winter begins to loosen its grip

The turns were very good on Mizpah

Patricia Hughes of Seattle gets her climbing skins ready

The deer know what's coming.  Lazy Doe owner Darvin Johnson feeds a herd there
Although temperatures were a spring-like 58 degrees in Great Falls over the weekend, it was still winter in the mountains.
We took advantage of good snow Friday and again Sunday with trips to the Little Belts.
On Friday it was the High Porphyry run with the Nugget Creek option. On Sunday we bought a lift ticket and practiced our tele turns on hardpack and spring snow.
Friday’s run was particularly good because we went on the heels of 9 inches of snow that had fallen earlier in the week.
We stopped for several top to bottom tele runs in the Mizpah bowls along the way.
The snow was consistently good all the way.
It was 16 degrees when we started and with a stiff wind it felt colder at times. Yet, by the end of the trip things had warmed up considerably.
The Nugget Creek route is tricky to find and we wandered a bit when I dropped off the ridge about a half-mile too soon.
On Sunday we spent a half day at Showdown skiing mostly the beginners’ runs because of the icy conditions.
By late afternoon the sun broke out and the clouds disappeared and the snow began to soften.
Winter is losing its grip.

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