Sunday, April 06, 2014

Porphyry-Mizpah ridge ski

Snowboard shredders were after the same backcountry I was seeking, but I got away from them.  Middle, the Mizpah Ridge.  The warming hut was covered with as much snow as I've ever seen in a winter.
Locals are really carping about the long, hard winter, but I see it as an opportunity for an extended backcountry skiing.
Temperatures have been in the 50s here in Great Falls, with an expectation of our first 70 of the season on Tuesday.
On Sunday the forecast called for a high of 32 at King's Hill, with as much as four inches of snow throughout the day.
I was gone.
There's been considerable melt in the Little Belts, but from Neihart to Kings Hill Pass, there was plenty of snow on Sunday.
I skied to the top of Porphyry (elevation: 8,195 feet) and then onto Mizpah (elevation: 7,765 feet).  There was about two to three inches of new powder on top of a crust on top of a 100 inch base at the top of Porphyry .
When I hit the crust, my skis really sailed.
It snowed a grapple off and on throughout the late morning and afternoon. It collected into nice powder.
The ridge opens up on Mizpah above large, spectacular bowls.  I was alone and decided against taking turns there for fear of slides.
I did an up-and-back ski to the end of the bowls where the trail dives into the forest.  I gained about 2,000 feet and skied about 8.5 miles, enjoying a number of great tele patches.

The blue line was my route.

No comments: