Monday, May 03, 2010

A belated but welcome 62nd birthday present

A belated 62nd birthday celebration enjoying May 2 snow!!
We were blessed the past few days with a glorious dump of snow in the Little Belts ---- about 4 feet in some spots!
We tried to reach this springtime gift on Saturday, but the roads were impassable and we got blocked at the Armington Junction. We were told we could go as far as Monarch, but decided against it.
On Sunday the roads were properly plowed and off we went for Kings Hill Pass to enjoy the quiet of Porphyry Peak where Showdown Ski Area is located. It is quiet because the ski area closed for the season April 8.
We backcountry tele types, snowshoers and alpine bootpackers had the hill all to ourselves. What a nice, but belated 62nd birthday present! Because of my Jamaican trip I had to pass up my traditional birthday ski on April 28. This more than compensated for that privation.
It was doubly sweet because my back, hurt on an April 1 ski trip, is healing well.
Lucky for us someone had thoughtfully broken a line to just above Golden Goose run. But beyond that we had to break the knee deep snow, which was a bit heavy with moisture.
We made 12 runs over 5 hours off the Porphyry summit cap, about 150-250 feet per run depending on which one we chose. We didn’t go much further than that because we were intent on making tele turns, not breaking snow. Quicksilver, Big Seven, Speculation, Muley were our main targets. We were whipped by 2 p.m.
There were three other ski parties we met on the summit, two we knew from Great Falls and a group of guys from White Sulphur Springs.
Snow fell off and on throughout the day, sometimes heavily, accumulating several inches while we played.
Mark Hertenstein thought this was the best snow of the “winter.”
Friends Wayne Phillips, Jim Heckel and Shelly Liknes went up Monday and found conditions still amazing, and agreed with Hertenstein.
I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised that the snowmobilers also found the Kings Hill area irresistible. I don’t think I’ve ever seen the pass as clogged with vehicles driven by sledders, shoers and skiers.
We have big wind event coming Tuesday and Wednesday, signaling another cold front that could drop even more May snow.
Next weekend could hold even more great spring skiing.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Tom - so glad to hear you're back skiing! We made it up Saturday -- thank Nacho Nate for the beautiful skin track, especially on Upper Quick. I counted 18 snow mobile rigs in the King's Hill "parking lot." Broken and stuck machines all over the place, including George's backyard. Isn't that off-limits?
-- Dave K.