Saturday, May 08, 2010

May best skiing month of year!

Fabulous skiing between North and Baldy Peaks in Highwoods

Mark Hertenstein with Highwood Baldy on the horizon

Plenty of tele opps with Middle Peak in distance

We set out Saturday to climb Baldy, the highest peak in the Highwoods.
But, the fantastic telemark snow between North Peak and Baldy, distracted us sufficiently that we didn’t make it.
When we finished Jim Heckel had recorded 3,600 feet of elevation gain, some 800 feet more than if we had climbed Baldy. I figured I did in the 4,000 feet range, a good day of skiing/climbing.
The snow conditions were variable, but quite good.
We found deep caches of powder, icy snow that loosened up in the sun later in the day, and heavy, wet snow that nearly picked up on ski bottoms.
I thought the snow and the trip were the best of the season. Think of that; our best ski trip in May!
This sort of makes up for the lousy March and April skiing. May skiing has been better than both those months.
It won’t be long and we’ll be hiking these slopes that will be filled with wildflowers.
This is the best snow we’ve had in the Highwoods at this time that I can recall.
Many years I’ve already hiked bare slopes to the top of Baldy by this time of year.
Unfortunately, the west side of the Divide is dry and we’re already being warned that there will be fires there this summer.
Too bad the wind blows from the west.
Hertenstein takes a lunch break

Wind-fashioned snow ghosts

Toward the outcrops

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