Sunday, February 08, 2009

A bluebird weekend of skiing

A frosty, but abandoned bird's nest on Jefferson Creek

Icy columns up Chamberlain Creek
Nothing particularly spectacular this weekend.
A day telemarking at Showdown Ski Area, taking advantage of the four inches of new powder; a day exploring Chamberlain Creek, a main tributary of Jefferson Creek in the Little Belt Mountains.
Both days bluebird.
Sunday was warmer and less windy than Saturday, but there was nothing wrong with Saturday.
I could tell Saturday that the powder would be fantastic in the backcountry, and Sunday we found out that it was.
Chamberlain Creek is about a mile up the Jefferson Creek cross country trail. There is no trail, but it is easy going up the broad creek bottom for more than a mile, skirting deadfall and willows.
Beyond that the canyon narrows and it is tougher to ski.
In years past I've immediately ascended a ridge to the east and skied to the top which eventually ends at the road to Big Baldy.
Even on the Jefferson Creek part of the ski, we got right next to the creek and crossed on tentative and easily broken snowbridges. My wife cracked the ice and her skis got quite wet. What a mess!
This ski made me mindful that there's lots of country I haven't explored on skis, and that I should return to. There's plenty of country here. You're limited only by your imagination. There should never be a territorial fight with snowmobilers.
We skied in sweatshirts and worked on our tans.

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