|What a great way to celebrate my 60th birthday!|
|Yippy!! We've got it all to ourselves!|
I’m 60 today, but had to work and come back in for a late meeting.
So, I took advantage of the spectacularly warm weather and deep snow in the Little Belts Sunday and celebrated my big day by climbing Porphyry Peak (elevation, 8,192 feet) and telemarked its north bowls for a couple of hours.
Porphyry is the mountain at the top of the Showdown Ski Area that has been closed since the first week of April.
The mountain has been hit with several snowstorms since its closing, though.
And skiers who don’t mind skinning to earn their turns have laid down tracks all across the Big Seven run.
Although the snow has been glazed by the melt and thaw cycle on its east face, the north side had some good powder. It got wet and heavy as the day wore on and presented a waxing and scraping problem.
The sky was cloudless, showing off the Little Belt Mountains to their best advantage. I haven’t seen as much snow at this time of year in many years on Big Baldy, the range high point at over 9,000 feet.
After skiing I rushed back to town to speak on a panel on Island Ranges at the Montana Wilderness Association state convention.
Then, when I got home my wife threw a surprise birthday party for me under the guise of showing some friends a travelogue of our trip to Italy.
The skiing and snow put me in a good frame of mind to begin my seventh decade.