Monday, April 20, 2009

Telemarking in the spring thaw

We had the ski hill to ourselves on this bluebird powder day
Sunday was a gloriously warm and sunny day, probably the last for backcountry skiing this season because the warmth is melting the snow away.
Forget about anymore runs down O’Brien Creek this season. The snow bridges are certainly gone. Water is rushing down Belt Creek.
Although Showdown area got about a foot of new snow Wednesday, it has settled into a thin vaneer over the hardpack.
It was good to get back on skis after missing a week to visit Chicago, where I spent Easter with family.
I didn’t feel well on Saturday and skipped a planned ski with friends to the Butcherknife Ridge. I was told the snow in that area was quite good, although snow melt is running in Dry Wolf Creek.
I Sunday I felt somewhat better and needed some exercise and headed for Showdown.
The snow was quite good for this spring day, having been softened by the sun. The vistas as far away as the Crazies and the Big Belts, were remarkable.
I was strong enough to do two runs down Big Seven and a third run down Speculation.
There were two downhill skiers who had hiked up and one free-heeler beside myself.
I love this time of year to ski.
The ski area is shut down and quiet and I’ve got the glorious runs pretty much to myself.
It is also a great way to begin conditioning for the summer mountain climbing season.
The snow is pretty much gone along the bottoms from Monarch to Neihart.
The spring thaw is upon us.

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