Sunday, December 12, 2010

Another shot at Bender Creek/Hoover Ridge

Our high point with a Kodak moment

Mark Hertenstein begins the tele trip back down Bender Creek
What started as an exploratory on Mount Barker in the Little Belts Saturday turned a pleasant ski across the Dry Fork Road up Bender Creek Trail 731 to the Hoover Ridge.
The trails sits in a narrow valley and rises about 1,500 feet to the ridge, a connector to the longer Pioneer Ridge.
We had hoped to climb Mount Barker, but found the snow on the south facing slope too thin to try.
It was a repeat of the first backcountry ski of the New Year, for the same reason.
We looked over Barker pretty closely and think there's a good route across from the Bender Creek trailhead.
On Bender Creek we followed some snowshoe tracks for about a mile that receded into footprints of what we guessed had been a hunter.
Where the snow was exposed to sunlight it had a slight icy glaze.  It was good in the heavy timber, so we really didn't do much in the way of turns.
The weather was about 13 degrees and raw-cold when we started, warming to about 25 degrees on the way out.
As we neared the Hoover Ridge the sun hit the trail and it was gorgeous.
On the way home Mark Hertenstein got a Christmas tree
There were tons of other tree-cutters out on the Dry Fork road.

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