Sunday, January 23, 2011

A quick run down O'Brien Creek

An early start;  daybreak on the hill

Skiing down toward Divide Road

On the trail toward the creek
It's playoff day and the Bears played the Packers.
That meant I needed to get back in time for 1 p.m. kickoff from Soldier's Field.
That called for a short backcountry run.
I hadn't done O'Brien Creek this year yet.
It's a quick 8-mile downhill from Showdown to Neihart.
Wayne Phillips and I did it in what we thought was a leisurely 2 hours and 30 minutes.
The snow was just about perfect, although drifted in spots. The snow in the beaver willows sparkled in the sunshine like diamonds.
A large group had broken Saturday's fresh dump, so it was easy saling.
O'Brien is the consummate Great Falls-area beginners' backcountry run.
We got an early start and saw no other skiers.
However, at the very end of the run we did bump into four snowmobilers on their way up the final, shared part of the trail. They would undoubtedly ruin the bottom part of the trail.
Luckily, we were there before them.

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